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iSDirforli C^ucci) %txt Books 

Early Christian Doctrine 









This book contains a sketch of Christian doctrine from 
the earliest times until the Council of Chalcedon in 
A.D. «1. By that date the faith of the Church in 
Jesus Christ was expressed with such clearness that 
any serious misunderstanding on the subject of His 
Incarnation was rendered difficult. Some account is also 
given of the doctrines of the Trinity, the Atonement, 
and the Sacraments, which are so intimately connected 
with the doctrine of the Incarnation. 

Brevity has made it necessary to omit many important 
references and quotations which the writer hopes to 
incorporate in a larger book on dogmatic theology. 



I. Christian Doctrine in its simplest form^ . 1 

II. The Theology of St. Paul and St. John, . 15 

III. Christian Doctrine from a.d. 90 to a.d. 180, 31 

IV. The Apologists — Montanism — Ireneeus and 

TertuUian, ...... 48 

V. Early Alexandrine Theology — Controversy 

with Monarch] ans^ ..... 59 

VI. Doctrine of the Sacraments hefore A.D. 325, 72 

VII. Arianism and the Divine Nature of Christ, . 87 

Viii. The Union of the Divine and the Human 

Natures in Christ, . . . . . 99 

iz. St. Augustine and the Athanasian Creed, . 113 

Chronological Table, 118 

Index, 120 




Ihtrodnctory.— It is the distinctiye feature of early Chris- 
tian theology that it fastened upon the person of Christ 
as the centre of Christianity. We can conceive that a 
different line of thought might have been adopted. The 
Church might conceivably have made the moral precepts 
contained in the Sermon on the Mounts or a belief that 
God is the Father of all mankind^ or the experience 
of conversion^ the dominating principle of Christianity. 
But while these and other great religious truths were not 
forgotten^ they were believed to depend upon the doctrine 
of the person of Christ. From tne very nature of the 
case it followed that this doctrine had an enormous 
influence. Every other doctrine radiated from it^ and it 
seems to have been assumed that any one who intelli- 
gently grasped the truth about Christ would be able 
to anticipate or approve the rest of the teaching of 
the Church. 

Now this distinctive feature of ancient theology can be 
traced in the teaching of Christ himself. It is derived 
from an impression of a truth which was felt by the com- 
panions of Jesus. His words and His actions gradually 
convinced them that there was an unutterable difference 
between themselves and Him. At least two of our first 
three Gospels were probably written before a.i>. 70^ and 
not one of them can possibly be more than a very few 
years later than that date. St. John's Gospel can be 
shown by countless proofs to be the work of the beloved 
disciple of our Lord^ and the opponents of Christianity^ 
instead of maintaining their old theory that it was written 


about A.D. 160^ now admit that it may have been written 
some years before a.d. 100^ and that it contains large 
elements of the genuine teaching of Christ. All the 
four Gospels are united in recording that Christ appeared 
before men with a unique claim and a unique method. 

The Claim of Christ.— There is a certain amount of 
reserve in our Lord's teaching about himself. It was not 
until His ministry was drawing to a close that He openly 
declared that He was the Christy the Messiah expected 
by the Jews as their deliverer and king. But He had 
steadily prepared His disciples to believe this. He makes 
repeated claims upon the allegiance of mankind^ which 
suggest that He has a supernatural authority. Even in 
the Sermon on the Mount He revises and abrogates not 
merely the traditional doctrines of the Jewish scribes, 
but even the law of Moses itself. He not only draws a 
contrast between the true literal meaning of the fifth 
commandment and the glosses which had obscured that 
meaning, but He also replaces a literal adherence to 
the commandments against murder and adultery by an 
obedience to laws of a far more stringent character. His 
commands run thus : ' It was said to them of old time^ 
. . . but I say unto you ' {Matt v. 21, 28). He here 
preaches the highest moral truth without appealing to 
any higher sanction than himself. 

Similarly^ He teaches that He has a right over each 
individual soul. An ancient legend tells us that the 
founder of Buddhism said to his followers, 'Be your- 
selves your lamp, yourselves your refuge.' The Buddha 
assumed that it was quite possible for men to value his 
precepts without paying any particular veneration to his 

Eerson. Our Lord speaks quite otherwise. He preaches 
imself as being ' a greater than Solomon ' {Matt. xii. 42). 
He offers himself as the greatest comfoi*t of the human 
soul — ^ Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy 
laden, and I will give you rest' {Matt. xi. 28). He 
requires that unlimited devotion which a man may not 
lawfully require of his fellow-man — * Whosoever shall 
lose his life for my sake and the gospel's shall save it ' 
{Mark viii. 36). ^ Every one that hath left houses, or 
brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or children, or 


lands^ for my name's sake^ shall receive an hundredfold^ 
and shall inherit eternal life' {Matt, xix. 29). It was 
iaeyitable, therefore, that our Lord's person should have 
been a problem to His hearera, and so He asks, ^ Who 
do men say that I am ? ' and then tests His disciples by 
asking, * Who say ye that I am ? ' {Mark viii. 27, 29). 

Clirifit aa Judge. — Before He asked the above decisive 
question of His disciples, Jesus had expressly asserted 
that He would judge men after their death, and reward 
them according to the works which they had done in this 
life. He gave a vivid picture of the manner in which He 
would make a separation between those who had served 
Him and those who had rejected Him — ' Many will say to 
me in that day. Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy 
name, and by thy name cast out devils, and by thy name 
do many mighty works ? And then will I profess unto 
them, I never knew you : depart from me, ye that work 
iniquity ' {Mait vii. 22, 23). And again He said, ' Every 
one therefore who shall confess me before men, him will 
I also confess before my Father which is in heaven. But 
whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also 
deny before my Father which is in heaven ' {Matt x. 32, 
33). This stupendous assertion on the part of Christ 
corresponds with the forgiveness which He grants here 
and now to the repentant. To the woman who anointed 
His feet He says, ^Thy sins are forgiven,' and He 
rouses the indignation of the scribes by saying to the 
man sick of the palsy, ^ Son, be of good cheer ; thy sins 
are forgiven ' {Matt ix. 2). 

Clirist as Son of MaiL — Christ very frequently calls him- 
self ^the Son of Man.' This phrase is a Hebraism which 
denotes the possession of a truly human nature, true 
experience of human life and sorrow, and true dependence 
upon God. It is used in Ps, viii. 4 as a poetical name 
for mankind in general, and it is also employed by the 

fTophet Ezekiel to describe himself. In Dan, vii. 13 
srael is symbolically personified under the name of * Son 
of Man,' and from signifying Israel as a whole the phrase 
came to signify the Messiah who was to be the perfect 
Israelite. In part of the Jewish Book of Enochs written 
in the century before our Lord's coming, this use of the^ 


title is common, and it has therefore been supposed that 
our Lord took the title from that book in consequence of 
the Messianic character which He had previously assumed. 
But our Lord expands the meaning of the title in such a 
way as to make it doubtful whether He had any intention 
of recalling to the minds of His hearers the somewhat 
fanciful descriptions of the Book of Enoch, 

It is true that in that book the Son of Man is repre- 
sented as sharing with God in the judgment of the worlds 
and that Christ speaks of himself under this title when 
He prophesies His glorious return and His judgment of 
all mankind {Mark viii. 38). But there are other passages 
in which our Lord uses the title without introducing any 
of the apocalyptic scenes of judgment and splendour with 
which it had become associated. The title still implies 
sovereignty, but it is a sovereignty of an entirely new 
order, it is the rule of the ideal Man who represents all 
that is best in human character and is in perfect sympathy 
with every rank and every nation. The Book of Enoch 
contains no suggestion that the Son of Man was ex- 
pected to live a life of service and die to redeem the 
world. But this is the peculiar function of the Son 
of Man described by Jesus Christ himself {Mark z. 

Ghrlst as Son of Ood. — Near Csesarea Philippi our Lord 
asked of His disciples, ^ Who say ye that I am .^ ' It is 
plain from the context {Mark viii. 27-30) that He was 
not satisfied to be numbered simply among the great 
prophets, and that He accepted the answer given by St. 
Peter, ^Thou art the Christ.' Immediately afterwards it 
is added that ^ He charged them that they should tell no 
man of him.' He did not desire that His Messiahship 
should be taught hastily. To have done this would have 
been to raise the hopes of His hearers not towards a 
moral renovation but towards material prosperity. Jesus 
would not permit men to believe that He was such a 
Messiah as the Jews ordinarily expected. At the same 
time He knew that He was the l^ue Messiah, and declared 
it in the most solemn manner at the supreme moment 
when the high priest asked Him, ^Art thou the Christ, 
the Son of the Blessed?' {Mark xiv. 61). 


He taught that He was not only as great as the Messiah 
whom the Jews expected^ but greater. He is himself the 
King of that divine kingdom^ which He came to founds [and 
through all His Messianic claims there is the suggestion 
that He is in a unique sense the Son of God. When He 
was discovered by His mother in the Temple at the a^e 
of twelve^ He showed that He was conscious of being the 
real Son of God ; the same truth was repeated in the voice 
heard from heaven at His baptism^ and^ although He taught 
His disciples to call God ' Our Father^' He called God 
His own Father in a special sense (Matt xvi. 17). The 
Jews interpreted Ps, ii. 7 and Ps. Ixxxiz. 27 as Messi- 
anic^ but it was only in a titular and honorific fashion 
that they applied the phrase ^ Son of God ' to the Messiah. 
They were willing to believe that the Messiah^ as the head 
of a theocratic state^ sufficiently resembled God to be 
called His Son. They were not willing to allow that any 
teacher could literaUy share in the Divinity of God. 

But our Lord claimed to be literally divine. In the 
synoptio Gospels He asserts that He stands in a relation 
to God which no man could possibly occupy^ He alone 
adequately reveals and knows God (Matt, xi. 27). He 
accepts the title of ^ the Son of the living God ' (Matt, 
zvi. 16) from St. Peter's lips^ and will not save His life 
by disowning it when addressed by the high priest He 
had previously suggested it in an unmistakable manner 
when He uttered the parable about the one son^ the 
'beloved^' who was killed by the wicked husbandmen 
(Mark xii. 6). If we carefully consider the statements 
recorded by the Synoptists^ we shall welcome the light 
which is thrown upon them by the statements recorded 
in St. John's Gospel. For in the synoptic Gospels Christ 
claims to be the perfect Saint^ the supreme Lawgiver^ and 
the final Judge. He declares himself to be the sole 
Master of His disciples (Matt, xxiii. 10)^ He inserts His 
own name between that of the Father and that of the 
Spirit (Matt, xxviii. 19)^ and promises to be wherever two or 
three are gathered together in His name (Matt, xviii. 20). 

St. John represents Jesus as saying tnat He had the 
life of God within himself (John v. 26)^ and that ^ the 
Father hath given all judgment unto the Son ; that all 


may honour the Son, even as they honour the Father* 
{John V. 23). He co-ordinates His work with the work 
of God when He commands an impotent man to carry 
his bed on the Sabbath day. He teaches that there is a 
unity, not only of co-operation, but also of omnipotence, 
in the passage where he declares, ^ I and the Father are 
one thing' {John x, 30). He asserts that He existed 
before Abraham was born, and in such a manner as to 
show that His existence had no beginning and could 
have no end {John viii. 58). The Jews understood Him 
and attempted to kill Him. They detected blasphemy 
in His assertions, for they perceived that He regarded 
himself as God {John x. 33). St. Mark shows that the 
high priest assumed that the Sanhedrim would condemn 
Him the moment that Jesus stated that He was the Son 
of God. St. John does nothing more than logically 
continue the synoptic narrative when he says that the 
Sanhedrim declared to Pilate, 'We have a law, and by 
that law he ought to die, because he made himself the 
Son of God' {John xix. 7). AH the Gospels agree in 
proving that the history of Christ's death is unintelligible 
unless He called himself the Son of God, not merely in 
an ethical sense, nor merely in the official sense of 
^ Messiah/ but also in the deeper sense that He claimed 
to be a divine Person who had clothed himself with 
human nature (cf. Liike i. 35). 

The Fatherhood of God. — The teaching of our Lord 
revealed to men the true nature of the Fatherhood of 
Grod. The more devout Jews had some conception 
of God acting as a Father to His chosen people, pitying 
His children ' like as a father ' {Ps. ciii. 13). But in the 
teaching of Christ this idea is central and dominant It 
carries with it the thought of a love which creates and 
teaches, which plans and gives, and is bestowed upon all 
God's children freely. But it must be remembered that 
Christ does not teach that His disciples are or can be 
sons of God in the same unique sense as himself. He 
speaks to them of 'your heavenly Father' {Matt. vi. 14) 
in a manner which marks a distinction between His own 
Sonship and theirs. Nor does Christ teach that we are 
the children of God if we reject His Son {John viii. 42). 


It is only through submission to Chnst that we become 
God's children (John xiv. 6 ff. ; Rom, viii. 15). 

Christ's Teadiing about Salyation. — When Christ began 
His ministry He said^ ^The Spirit of the Lord is upon 
me because he anointed me to preach good tidings to 
the poor* (Luke iv. 18). He makes salvation depend 
upon the acceptance of His message from God. He is 
the Sower who scatters the word of God ; the word 
contains the power of fruitfulness in itself, though its 
actual fruitfumess depends upon the soil which receives 
it. The great subject of this message is the Kingdom of 
God. The Jews expected that the theocracy or Kingdom 
of God which had nourished among them in the times of 
David and Solomon would return in a more glorious 
form. This expectation nerved them to maintain their 
nationality and their religion. At the same time the 
interpretation of the Kingdom of God which was current 
among them was so secular that it was necessary for 
Christ to transform it. 

(1) The Jews expected that it would be a kingdom of 
material prosperity and success. Christ opposes this by 
specially promising a share in it to the * poor in spirit * 
(Matt V. 3). He describes it as the highest good which 
men can seek and as a spiritual sphere of life. 

(2) The Jews thought that it had not yet come. Christ 
teaches that the final stage has not yet come (Luke xxii. 
18)^ but He says that it is already here and suffering 
violence (Matt. xi. 12). Christ himself has brought it 
(Luke xi. 20). 

(3) The tfews believed that it was a national Jewish 
kingdom^ to which the Jews had a hereditary right. 
Christ assured them that it would be taken from them 
(Matt, xxi. 43). He opened it to all who would recognise 
Him as their King, and by a sincere repentance or 
* change of mind' (Luke xxiv. 47) forsake sin and fulfil 
His commands in the spirit of little children (Mark 
X. 15). 

Our Lord never ceased to preach the Kingdom of God, 
which is also His own Kingdom (Matt. xiii. 41). But 
when He had sufficiently trained His followers to believe 
absolutely in His message^ and declared that it was 


necessary not only to trust His message but to receive 
Him as God himself. He showed that the Kii^om of 
God was henceforth to be identical with the Christian 

When Peter confesses that He is ^the Son of the - 
living God^' Christ rewards him by sayings 'Upon this 
rock I will build my Church ... I will give unto 
thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven ' (Matt, xvi. 18^ 
19). The word ' Church had been used by the Jews as 
a name of God's chosen people. Christ now founds what 
He calls ' my Church/ It is His own institution^ and He 
describes it in terms which show it to be visible and im- 
perishable^ and opened by an appointed human guardian. 
In Matt, xviii 15-20^ He further describes His Church as 
the home of brothers whose brotherhood depends upon 
submission to Christ. The brother who persists in sin 
and refuses to hear the Church is to be excluded^ and 
this exclusion will be ratified in heaven. After this 
solemn statement our Lord declares that He is personally 
present with the members of the Church wno gather 
together in His name. His language on this occasion 
implies His true Divinity as much as any language used 
by Him in the Gospel of St John. 

It finally became necessary for Jesus to tell His 
disciples that He must die. He could not reveal this 
to them until they were firmly rooted in their faith. 
The Jews did not imagine that their Messiah would die 
or even suffer. But when His disciples had learnt that 
He was indeed the Son of God^ He was able to suggest to 
them the full truth. He says^ ^ I have a baptism to be 
baptized with ; and how am I straitened till it be accom- 
plished ' {Ltike xii. 50). With greater clearness He tells 
them that He must ^give his life a ransom for many.' 
By this He means that man is a prisoner who cannot 
purchase freedom from sin for his soul^ and that the Son 
of God pays the precious ransom which sets man free. 
A year before His deaths in the great discourse recorded 
in John vi,, He declared that He would give to men a 
living breads which is the flesh which He would give for 
the life of the world. 

The night before He died. He made plain what He 


meant by His former language about this life surrendered 
to God and imparted to men. While celebrating the 
Passover with His disciples^ He consecrated a portion of 
the unleavened bread and a cup of wine mingled with 
water, saying, 'This is my Body* — 'This is my Blood.' 
He apparently wished to recall to His disciples the blood 
of the Paschal lamb which was sprinkled on the door- 
posts of the Israelites in Egypt, and saved them from the 
visitation of the destroying angel. 

He also claimed to found that new Covenant between 
God and His servants which Jeremiah had foretold. The 
shedding of His blood secures deliverance from evil, and 
makes a new and closer relation between God and man. 
The Lord's Supper was therefore meant to be a sacrificial 
feast of reconciliation with God, a reconciliation made 
possible by the death of Jesus. It was also meant to be 
a means of receiving from Jesus that life of which He 
is the Source, and which He derives from the eternal 
Father {John vi. 57). 

After He was risen from the dead, Christ ordered 
Christian Baptism, directing that the converts made by His 
disciples should be baptized ' into the name of the Father 
and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.' When the Jews 
made proselytes, these proselytes were not admitted to 
the full privileges of sons of Israel until they were 
baptized. If they had children at the time, these 
children appear to have been baptized also. John the 
Baptist baptized his disciples to prepare them for the 
new Covenant of Christ But our Lord himself 
instituted another cleansing to be an actual means of 
entrance into His own kingdom. Some modem critics 
have asserted that our Lord could never have used such 
a formula as 'the name of the Father and of the Son 
and of the Holy Ghost' But although the early 
Christians perhaps baptized sometimes only 'into the 
name of the Lord Jesus ' (Acts viii. 16), there is no real 
reason to doubt that Christ used the above formula. St 
Paul uses the same formula in 2 Cor. xiii. 14, and the 
synoptic Gospels and St. John's Gospel agree in mention- 
ing a Trinity of divine persons (John xiv. 26 ; cf. Eph, 
V. 18-20 ; Hebr. x. 29). 


That the cleansing which Christ meant to be bestowed 
by His apostles in Baptism is a cleansing from sin by 
the Holy Spirit is evident^ and it is further illustrated 
by His words to Nicodemus {John iii. 5). Our Lord 
could not have used the language in which He commanded 
this rite^ unless He had been conscious that He was 
divine and able to say^ ' Lo^ I am with you alway^ even 
unto the end of the world ' {Matt xxviii. 20). And this 
once more reminds us that the centre of all Christian 
doctrine is ^ Jesus only^' and that no Christian can be 
indifferent to anything which implies a true view of 
Jesus Christ. 

Doctrine in the Acts of the ApostleB.— Our Lord died 
and rose again in a.d. 29^ and according to an ancient 
tradition^ the apostles remained together in Jerusalem 
for twelve years afterwards. The earliest form of their 
teaching has been faithfully preserved for us in Acts 
i.-xii., where St Luke^ who wrote Acta about a.d. 75, 
has made use of a very early Jewish Christian document. 
The Christians have no wisn to break with Judaism, but 
regard themselves as the true Israel. They worship in 
the Temple and in the synagogues, although they meet 
in private houses for the celebration of the Lord's Supper. 
They still observe the precepts of the Jewish Law. They 
are under the authority of the apostles, who appoint a 
successor to Judas, and then appoint seven ministers to 
attend to the temporal needs of the poorer brethren. It 
is uncertain how soon the ministry was completed by 
the appointment of presbjrters, but these officials are 
mentioned in the later chapters of the book. 

The doctrine of Christ s person is very simple, but 
very deep. The apostles are convinced that Jesus is the 
Messiah, and the Resurrection of Jesus has removed any 
doubts which they may once have entertained. In dis- 
coursing to the Jews the utmost stress is laid uf. on the 
Resurrection, and St Peter declares that the suffering. 
Resurrection, and Ascension of the Messiah were foretold 
in the Old Testament {Acts ii. 27, 34 ; iii. 18). Jesus is 
declared to be the Messiah, anointed by God, the Holy 
One. He is also in a special sense the Holy Servant or 
Child of God. He is not a merely human Messiah ; He 


is Lord^ Prince of life^ and Saviour. He is not at first 
called God (as in Acts xx. 28), or even Son of God (as in 
Acts ix. 20). At the same time He is declared to fulfil 
divine functions. It is He who has poured out the Holy 
Spirit (ii. 83), and His name or revealed personality is 
declared to have just restored a lame man to soundness 
(iii. 16), signs and wonders are expected to be done 
through Him (iv. 80). There is ^salvation' in none 
other (iv. 12)^ and He is to be ^the Judge of quick 
and dead ' (x. 42). St. Stephen in his dying moments 
addresses the Lord Jesus in prayer. We have here the 
simplest kind of theology. There is nothing metaphysical 
on its surface. Jesus is the Messiah who takes part in the 
work of God and is worshipped and is expected to return 
in the near future. The Holy Spirit is divine and personal. 

St. James acted as bishop of Jerusalem until his 
martyrdom in a.d. 62. His Epistle shows us the simple 
doctrines of the first Jewish Christians. The book con- 
tains no mention of the observance of Jewish ordin- 
ances. And yet Christianity is represented under the 
aspect of a law, a law of liberty, the observance of 
wnich, with the love and mercy which it involves, will 
be rewarded by a merciful judgment from God. Great 
stress is laid upon the necessity of good works, and this 
has led many modern writers to suppose that the Epistle 
is opposed to the Pauline doctrine of justification by 
faith. But St. James when he urges his readers to regard 
works as essential has the same object in view as St. Paul 
when he urges his readers to regard faith as essential. 
Both have the character of men at heart; St. Paul 
opposes works which are done in the spirit of a business 
contract with God, St. James opposes a faith which is 
only a lifeless orthodoxy. St. James keeps very closely to 
the principle of our Lord, which was not to destroy the 
law but to emphasise its inner meaning. 

The main difference between St. Paul and St. James 
is that St. Paul regards the religious life as the working 
out of the life of Christ in the Christian, while St. James 
defines it as consisting in acts of charity and self-control 
(i. 27). The two doctrines are quite compatible, and 
although St. James says nothing explicitly about the 


union of the believer with Christy he does regard Chris- 
tians as sharers in the life of God through Christ (i. 18). 
St. James also generally uses the word 'faith' of that 
kind of faith which may be common to both Jew and 
Christian^ while St. Paul generally uses it of faith in 
Jesus Christy a complete devotion and adhesion to 

St. James says little about our Lord's person^ but 
speaks of Him as 'Lord of glory' (ii. 1)^ as able to raise 
the sick, and about to come to judgment. By describing 
himself as the ' bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus 
Christ* (i. 1), the writer shows that he believes himself 
to stand in the same relation to Jesus Christ as to God. 

The Epistle of St. Jude^ who, like St. James, was called 
a brother of our Lord, is directed against a lascivious 
sect whose principles bore some resemblance to the teach- 
ing which St. Paul rebuked in his letter to Colossse. 
This sect apparently denied the reality of the incarna- 
tion and the unique Lordship of Christ {Jude 4). The 
writer, like St James, calls himself the bond-servant of 
Christ. The Holy Spirit, God, and the Lord Jesus 
Christ are mentioned together {Jude 20, 21) in a manner 
which suggests to us that the writer was familiar with 
the Trinitarian formula. This Epistle, in spite of its 
simple character, was probably written late in the apos- 
tolic age, as the word 'faith is used in the sense of a 
system of belief, the faith for which the readers are 
asked to contend being a full and definite confession of 

The two Epistles of St. Peter are of rather uncertain 
date, but were probably written late in the apostle's 
lifetime, and therefore after a.d. 60. Wliile the tone 
of the first Epistle is distinctly practical, it contains a 
rich theology. The rebuke which St. Paul administered 
to St. Peter at Antioch for pretending that he agreed 
with the narrow-minded Jewish Christians who would 
not eat with the Gentiles, shows us that St. Peter in 
his heart agreed with St. Paul. He really believed in 
a universal Gospel^ meant for all mankind and not for 
Jews only. This Epistle shows us a thorough compre- 
hension of this great principle. The privileges of God's 


ancient people belong to the whole body of those who 
believe in Christ. They are called the royal priesthood 
and the holy nation, St. Peter lays great stress upon 
the reality of Christ's manhood and the value of His 
example. As in the early chapters of Acts, the Resur- 
rection and Exaltation of Christ and His return to judge 
the world (v. 4) are made prominent. 

It is taught that Christ existed in heaven before He 
was born on earthy for He was not only ^foreknown 
indeed before the foundation of the world ' (i. 20), but 
His Spirit was in the prophets before His incarnation 
(i. 11). The thought of reconciliation with God through 
the precious bhod of Christ is much cherished by St 
Peter. Christ the righteous Judge, 'his own self bore 
our sins in his body upon the tree, that we, having died 
unto sins, might live unto righteousness' (1 Pet, ii. 24). 
He suffered in order to 'bring us to God.' He removes 
the barrier between man and God which sin has created. 
To Christ, as unto a divine Being, glory and dominion 
are ascribed (1 Pet. iv. 11). In consequence of His 
Resurrection He is able to renew our souls in baptism 
(1 Pet. iii. 21 ; cf. I 3). 

The authenticity of the Second Epistle of St, Peter has 
been more questioned than that of any other Epistle in 
the New Testament. The external evidence for it is 
meagre, and the Epistle has frequently been assigned to 
the second century. The allusion to St Paul's Epistles 
points to a date which is not likely to be earlier than 
A.D. 60, but the absence of any aUusion to the destruc- 
tion of Jerusalem makes it improbable that the Epistle is 
later than a.d. 70. The doctrine agrees with that of 
the apostolic age. In the polemical part of the Epistle 
there is a reference to heretics who will deny the Master 
who bought them, but there is nothing to show that 
the author lived among the heresies of the second cen- 
tury. The Divinity of Jesus Christ is repeatedly implied. 
The writer describes himself as the 'bond-servant and 
apostle of Jesus Christ' (i. 1), and the practical know- 
ledge of Jesus, like the knowledge of God, is described 
as the source of spiritual peace and the crowning point 
of Christian perfection. This knowledge secures an 


escape from the defilements of the world (ii. 20) and an 
entrance into the eternal Kingdom of Christ (i. 11). 

It has heen thought that a late date is implied in the 
statement in 2 PeL i. 4, that through the promises of 
God granted to us in Christ we ' become partakers of the 
divine nature.* But if we reject the authenticity of the 
Epistle on this gpround we shall logically be compelled to 
deny an apostolic origin to almost every book in the New 
Testament. For it is repeatedly taught in the New 
Testament that the Christian receives the infusion of a 
new and divine life. We have already noticed it in James 
i. 18^ and the undisputed Epistles of St. Paul are steeped 
in this doctrine of communion between God and man 
through Christ. It follows quite naturally from the 
doctrine that Christ is himself divine. Throughout this 
Epistle Jesus Christ is frequently named where we 
should expect to see the name of God. He is called 
^ our Lord/ ^ the Lord and Saviour,' and even ' our God 
and Saviour Jesus Christ * (L 1). 



St. Paul's teaching about the Flesh and Sin.— To under- 
stand the whole system of St. Paul's doctrine it is necessary 
to study his spiritual experiences. He had been the deter- 
mined enemy of Christy and by an abrupt transformation 
became an enthusiastic disciple. He was convinced that 
at a particular moment of his life the risen Chiist 
appeared to him^ and his conversion was caused by this 
appearance. He had been less prepared for this conver- 
sion by the teaching of the Christians whom he persecuted 
than by the cruel struggle which he has recorded in Bom. 
vii. Externally blameless, his life was internally unpurified. 
He was conscious of strong passions and desires^ of a 
tendency to do wrong and a weakness in performing 
what his own conscience approved. He attributed these 
faults not to his own true self, for his true self opposed 
them, but to Sin. Now Sin is only a natural inherited 
corruption until a person is able to distinguish right from 
wrong. It becomes actual Sin or conscious ' transgres- 
sion' only when we rebel against the Law and choose 
to do what we believe to be wrong. A medium of 
sensual impulses and desires is afforded by the Flesh. 
The Flesh is not regarded as inherently sinful, or as the 
cause of Sin. But when controlled by Sin it becomes, 
like Sin, a principle openly at war with the Spirit {Gal, 
V. 19 ; Rom, viii. 4). Therefore the man who desires 
deliverance from Sin also desires deliverance from the 
evil activities of the Flesh. 

The vision of Christ which appeared to St. Paul was 
the vision of a ^ life-giving Spirit,' a divine per.*on who 



had taken human flesh but had overcome deaths and was 
now beyond the reach of any temptation to sin. Corre- 
sponding with the outward appearance^ although not to be 
confounded with it^ there came a revelation in the heart 
of the future apostle which made him in after times say 
^ it pleased God to reveal his Son in me/ He felt a new 
conception of the office of the Messiah. The Messiah had 
not come^ as the Jews expected^ to reward righteous Jews^ 
but to free all men from Sin. He had suffered for the 
sins of others^ ' He was wounded for our transgressions^' 
He had offered to God the service of a sinless life^ even 
though it brought Him to the death of the cross. God 
allowed His Son to die like a sinner that man might no 
longer misinterpret God's forbearance towards Sin as 
indifference. God had accepted this perfect surrender as 
a propitiation for man's self-indulgence. He had shown 
His approval by raising Jesus from the dead. Therefore 
to avail oneself of what Jesus has done is to gain the 
pardon of God. 

St. Paul determined to seek salvation through Christy 
and he was baptized. He was conscious that God had 
sent forth ^the Spirit of his Son ' into his hearty that he 
had ^put on Christ.' He had come under a new and 
penetrating control. Before his conversion he had felt 
^ sin revive ' and hope die within him^ because the words 
^thou shalt not covet' had not only forbidden actual sin 
but also an inward liking for Sin. He now was con- 
scious that the liking for Sin was gone. He had 
begun to be dead to Sin^ not by virtue of an external 
discipline but by virtue of a new force and life infused 
into him. His spiritual being was now life because of its 
new state of righteousness {Rom. viii. 10). Discipline 
was still necessary^ he still had to buffet his body (1 Gor, 
ix. 27). For the spiritual man may be tempted ; he may 
lose his hold upon Christ ; having begun in the Spirit he 
may end in the flesh ; he may be lost. But victory had 
already begun through union with Christ Already he had 
crucifled the flesh so far as it was the medium of wrong 
impulses and desires. This is not an asceticism which 
tramples upon human nature ; it exalts it. It is the life 
of the true athlete who runs ^not as uncertainly.' 



ST. PAUL 17 

8t PatQ's teadiine: about Faith, Bighteoosness, and the 
law. — The enthusiastic surrender to Christ which results 
in moral victory and progress^ St. Paul calls Faith. This 
is the act by which a man desires to identify himself 
with Christ, to die with Christ, and rise with Him in 
newness of life. It is an act of a man's whole nature, 
including the intellect, the affections, and the resolution 
to obey Christ. In popular language Faith is sometimes 
represented as the conviction that Christ was punished 
by God instead of sinners. This conception of Faith is 
part of the truth. For sinless as Christ was. He drank 
the cup which our sins had mii^led. He felt forsaken 
by the Father. The love of God the Son accepted 
the suffering which the love of God the Father permitted. 
But when St. Paul speaks of Faith in its truly Christian 
sense, he means the attitude of a man who devotes him- 
self to Christ and allows his whole character to be rooted 
in Christ, and thus finds in Christ not only a Saviour 
from punishment but also a Saviour from Sin. A one- 
sided view of Faith always tends to be antinomian and 
immoral. But the Pauline doctrine of Faith teaches us 
that Faith is trust in One who lifts us into communion 
with the supreme Moral Being. A Faith which does 
not stimulate the highest moral tone is not Faith at all. 

The same truth is enforced by St. Paul's teaching about 
JUghteouBness. To have believed that there was only an 
arbitrary connection between the righteousness of Christ 
and the righteousness of the Christian would have been 
to oppose all his religious experience. He teaches that 
there is an organic union between the spiritual man and 
Christ quite as real as the connection between our own 
fleshly nature and the fleshly nature of Adam. A man 
is justified, or acquitted as non-guilty and righteous by 
God, when that man receives ' the righteousness of God.' 
This phrase means the righteousness inherent in God 
himself and bestowed by God upon man. The method 
of attaining this righteousness is through that faith by 
which a man sees that Jesus is Messiah and Lord, is made 
a member of Christ by baptism, and receives His Spirit. 
Christ then lives in him, his deeds are Christ's. The 
Christian is therefore literally and truly righteous, 


although ^ ungodly ' up to the moment of his acquittal. 
When he submits to the control of the Fleshy he ceases to 
be righteous^ he falls under the condemnation of God^ and 
will be ^ broken off' like the withered branches of Judaism. 

Experience of ' the righteousness of God by faith ' gave 
St. Paul a key to the meaning of the Jewish Law and all 
Law. He holds that Law^ all external enactment saying 
^ thou shalt ' or ' thou shalt not^' was given in consequence 
of sin. It would have been unnecessary if there had been 
no sin. St. Paul is convinced that the Law is good and 
that it is spiritual. In Bom, vii. he shows that it dis- 
charges functions which are incompatible with the view 
that the Law is sinful. For it teaches man what sin is^ 
and it cannot itself be sin if it irritates sin into activity. 
But it is in fundamental contrast with the Gospel; it 
cannot make men righteous^ and if it could do so, Christ's 
death was useless. The Law is, to use a modern illustra- 
tion, like a bracket in the page of God's dealings with 
mankind. It does not limit the promise which God gave 
to Abraham, it comes between that promise and its fulfil- 
ment in order that men may realise their need of ^the 
righteousness of God by faith.' It is a stage in the 
development of our moral education, a stage which we 
are bound to outgrow. 

The relation of the Christian to the Law is twofold. 
(1) By identifying himself with Christ crucified and 
becoming infused with His Spirit, the Christian becomes 
discharged from the Law and sin at the same moment. 
Christ until He died was under the Law (GaL iv. 4). 
But His risen life is a life of complete freedom from 
the Law. In the same way the man who identifies him- 
self with Christ and dies to sin is free from the juris- 
diction of the Law. (2) Release from the Law does 
not mean license to sin. On the contrary, the Christian 
is now able to perform what the Law declares to be 
righteous (Rom, viii. 4). He does it spontaneously 
because he now possesses the righteousness of God. 
He is moved by that love which is the fulfilling of the 
Law. Therefore St. Paul asserts, ^We estabush the 
Law.' Shining through the narrow and many-coloured 
windows of the Jewish Law there is an eternal and 

ST. PAUL 19 

universal Law which will be cherished by all the sons 
of God. The whole matter is summed up in three 
sentences^ each of which conveys an aspect of the same 
truth. ^Neither is circumcision anything^ nor un- 
circumcision^ but a new creature' {dui. vi. 15). 'In 
Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything^ 
nor uncircumcision^ but £Euth working through love' 
{Gal V. 6). 'Circumcision is nothings and uncircum- 
cision is nothing ; but the keeping of the commandments 
ofGod'(l(7or. vii. 19). 

St. Paul's Doctrine of GhriBt's Person. — St. Paul's doctrine 
of Christ's person is fundamentally the same through 
all his Epistles. Christ is throughout both divine and 
human^ the Son of God in a unique sense^ and the sinless 
Mediator between God and man. But St. Paul developed 
his statements and explanations of this doctrine in accord- 
ance with the lessons which he desired to enforce^ and in 
opposition to the errors against which he was obliged to 
contend. In the two earlier groups of his £pistles the 
teaching about Christ is mainly implicit. His Divinity 
is implied in the position assigned to Him. In the 
third group of Epistles the teaching is eaplicit. His 
Divinity is explained for one or other particular purpose. 

The Epistles to the Thessalonians form the first group of 
St. Paul's Epistles. Here the unique character of Christ's 
Sonship is suggested by the phrase^ ^ Wait for his Son from 
heaven . . . even Jesus^ which delivereth us from the wrath 
to come ' (1 Thess, i. 10). Jesus is in both Epistles called 
' The Lord Jesus^' and each letter closes with the prayer 
that His grace, or unmerited kindness^ may be with the 
readers. The stress of persecution seems to have raised 
in the Thessalonians an eager desire for the return of 
Christy which alone could bring them release. St. Paul 
makes no full statement about the person of Christ, nor 
does he explain the atonement (touched upon in v. 10). 
He simply assumes that Jesus is the exalted Lord who 
dispenses salvation and will return to judge the world. 
The connection between this Epistle and the sayings of 
our Lord in Matt, zxiv. is obvious. In 2 Thess, the 
apostle speaks of a 'man of sin' who will be annihilated 
by the true Messiah at His second coming. This ' man 


of sin' will assume equality with God and sit in the 
temple of God. The apostle seems to regard unbelieving 
Judaism as personified in an Antichrist who will pretend 
to be a consubstantial representative of God like tne One 
who is foretold in Mai. iii. 1. This picture of the false 
Messiah suggests the supreme position which St. Paul 
attributes to the true Messiah^ to whom he ascribes divine 

The Epistles to the Oorinthians, Galatians, and Bomam 
form the second group of St Paul's Epistles. They 
contain a large amount of teaching about the person of 
Christ. In writing to the Corinthians^ St. Paul had to 
warn his readers against the dangers connected with tlie 
presence of idolatry. And in 1 Cor, vm,, in view of 
pagan polytheism^ he points out the dignity of Christ. 
^ As there are gods many^ and lords many; yet to us 
there is one God^ the Father, of whom are aJl things, and 
we unto him ; and one Lord, Jesus Christy through whom 
are all things, and we through him.' Here the true God 
is contrasted with the so-cafled gods and the true Lord 
with the many lords. It cannot be questioned that the 
apostle means that Christ belongs to the sphere of divine 
life. The same doctrine is implied in those passages 
which speak of our relation to Christ On the one 
hand we see that Christ is ^the first-bom among many 
brethren' (Rom, viii. 29), and that we are destined to 
be conformed to His image. He is therefore .in a true 
sense our brother. But on the other hand He is (rod's 
^ own Son ' (Rom, viii. S) in a supreme sense, and to Him 
alone belongs the privilege of being ^ image of God' 
(2 Gor, iv. 4). We may reflect His likeness, but He 
alone has eternally been related to the Father in such 
a way that He is fitted to reveal Him completely. St 
Paul does not hesitate to draw the conclusion which 
logically follows from his belief in this communion of 
life between the Father and the Son. He applies to 
Christ passages which in the Old Testament refer to 
Jehovah, and in Rom. iz. 5 says that He is ^over all^ 
God blessed for ever. * 

Not much is said about the historical human life of 
our Lord. He was ^ bom of a woman ' (OtU, iv. 4) and 

ST. PAUL 21 

sent into the world in the likeness of sinful fleshy but 
nevertheless knew no sin (2 Car, v. 21). His life was 
one of self-denial^ and His sufferings and resurrection are 
mentioned. This human Christ who suffered and rose 
again is none other than the Son of God by virtue of 
the divine nature or ^Spirit of holiness' which He 
possesses {Bom, i. 4). 

We should notice in conclusion that the EpUUe to 
the Romans does not seem to have been written as an 
argument against Judaising tendencies in the Roman 
Churchy but as a mature statement of God's dealings 
with mankind through Christy a statement which would 
end any controversy which might arise between Jewish 
and Gentile Christians. The divine Lordship of Chtist 
is assumed rather than stated^ as the readers of the 
Epistle are in no uncertainty as to the foundations of 
Christian teaching. 

The Epistles to the Philippians, Golossians, and Ephesians. 
— In PhiL ii. 6-11 we have an important passage which is 
introduced with a definite purpose — to illustrate the spirit 
of self-sacrifice. Our Lord is held up as the pattern of 
those who do not insist upon their rights. We are told 
that C l^y st ^ being in the form of God^ counted it not 
a prize to be on an equality with God^ but emptied him- 
selfy taking tiiie form of a servant^ being made in the 
likeness of men.' The Arians of the fourth century inter- 
preted this to mean that He was a lesser God who did not 
grasp equality with the great God. But it is plain that 
all such interpretations are absurd. For the force of 
Christ's example would have been worthless if He had 
been a created spirit who only abstained from grasping at 
divine prerogatives which it would be impious to desire. 
There is no self-sacrifice in abstaining from such impiety. 
St Paul means that Christ had the form or attributes 
of God^ but that He humbled himself by taking the 
attributes of a servant. This involved a ' self-emptying/ 
an entrance into human limitations^ and was followed bv 
a life of humble dependence upon God. This was self- 
sacrifice indeed^ and it is to be the model of Christian 
conduct. The reward of the human obedience of Jesus 
Christ was His exaltation into heaven. The Name 


which He bore during His humiliation^ and is the symbol 
of His human nature^ now calls forth the adoration 
of angels and of men and of the souls of the departed. 

In Golossiaiu St. Paul gives a full statement of the 
significance of Christ's person in order to correct some 
errors prevalent at CoIosssb. A heresy had become 
prevalent which was a kind of Christian theosophy. It 
taught that for the perfection of the Christian life some- 
thing more than ordinary Christian doctrine and morality 
was required. Christianity was therefore combined with 
various Jewish and Oriental superstitions and with rigidly 
ascetic rules of life. The doctrine and the conduct of 
the false teachers were based upon one principle^ namely^ 
that material and physical existence is degrading. There- 
fore it was taught (i) that man must approach God by 
repressing all bodily instincts^ and (ii) that God approaches 
man through a chain of intermediate beings among whom 
His attributes are divided. The lowest of these beings 
would be sufficiently material to condescend to come into 
contact with mankind. 

St Paul saw how much this teaching would destroy a 
true conception of the dignity of Christ. He therefore 
declares that the Son is the image of God^ the adequate 
counterpart of the Father. He is also the ^ firstborn of 
all creation^' i.e, not created^ but^ as the context shows^ 
^born before all creation/ and Lord of creation. All 
things were created in Him, since in His mind the plan 
of creation was eternally present ; by Him, since it was 
through His power that all things came into being; 
unto Him, since every creature finds the explanation of 
its being by living for His glory. All things cohere in 
Him. The sum total of the attributes of God dwells in 
Him bodily {GoL ii. 9). Material and physical life are 
therefore hallowed both by the creation and by the 
incarnation. The Son is Saviour as well as Creator. 
He is the one divine link between the Father and the 
world both in redemption and in creation. The Church 
is the new creation^ and Christ is the Head with whom 
all the members of the Church are in communication. 
He directs their functions so that the whole body works 
together (Col, ii. 19). 


In Ephesians this conception of the universal Creator 
and Saviour leads to a fuller idea of the universal 
Church. It is the eternal purpose of God to sum up 
all things in Christ as their point of unity. By His 
Passion^ Jews and Gentiles are attracted and combined ; 
by the power of His ascended life^ He unifies and organises 
the Church (Eph, iv. 15). To the Church He grants the 
fulness of the attributes of His incarnate lue, as He 
himself embodies the attributes of God (Eph. L 23). The 
Church is an organism without which Christ deigns to 
regard himself as incomplete^ because without the Church 
His incarnate life would not be manifested in the world 
in a way corresponding with the way in which His non- 
incamato life was mamfested. The Church is also the 
bride of Christ (Eph. v. 25 ff.), willingly devoting herself 
to Him^ and not merely passively depending upon Him. 
This Church is a visible body guided by ministers^ whose 
authority is expressed in different outward forms. These 
ministers are organs of the body^ and as such are indis- 
pensable to the Church (Eph, iv. 11 ; cf. 1 Cor, xii. 28). 

The teaching of this group of Epistles shows a develop- 
ment which is natural in every religious mind. The man 
who is justified by faith will naturally go onward to study 
more deeply the character of Him through whom he is 
justified and the society which exists for the sanctification 
of all human life. 

The Epistle to the Hebrews was probably written by a 
disciple of St. Paul about 67 a.d. The writer is anxious 
to confirm the faith of some Hebrew Christians who are 
in danger of yielding to the attractions of their former 
religion and deserting Christ. He endeavours therefore 
to establish the supremacy of Christ and of the Christian 
dispensation. He differs from St Paul in that he always 
regards the Law as tjrpical of the Gospel — ^ a shadow of 
the good things to come ' ; the priests and sacrifices and 
ritual of Judaism were emblems of spiritual realities 
which came with Christ. St. Paul hardly ever treats 
the Jewish system in this way {see, however^ 1 Cor, v. 7 
and Col. ii. I7). His own religious history disposed him 
to regard the Law as a bondage. 

The doctrine of Christ's person closely resembles the 


doctrine in Ephesians and Colossians. The author shows 
that Christ is the perfect Mediator in creation^ revelation, 
and redemption ; He is superior to the angels^ to Moses^ 
and to Joshua. In ch. i. He is declared to he the 
'out-shining' of the Father's glory, and the living 
' impression ' of the Father's suhstance. The Son is the 
Agent of God in creation^ and this implies no inferiority 
of nature to the Father, as it is the Son who maintains 
the universe continually (i. 3). The author applies to 
Christ passages of the Old Testament which apply to 
God. iTie elevation of Christ ahove the angels is not 
diminished by the fact that for a little while He was 
made lower than they, for this was only temporary and 
was done for a special purpose — the purpose of saving 
men. Again, Moses is only a stone, as it were, in the 
house of God, in which house he was permitted to act as 
God's servant The Son built the house, and rules over 
it as Son of God (iii. 3 ff.). Christ is also superior to 
Joshua, for He provides an eternal Sabbath for the people 
of God, whereas Joshua only brought Israel into the 
disturbed tranquillity of Canaan. 

But the main efforts of the author are directed to 
showing the superiority of the Christian sacerdotal system 
to the sacerdotal system of Aaron and his successors. 
In the first part of the Epistle strong emphasis is laid 
upon the true humanity of Jesus. Christ is shown to 
have been prepared to act as our representative High 
Priest by His true human probation and suffering. In 
v.-vii. the nature of this priesthood of Christ is shown. 
Christ belongs to a higher order of priesthood, repre- 
sented not by Aaron but by Melchizedek. His priesthood 
is unlimited by time, just as the story of Melchizedek 
shows him appearing on the scene of history without any 
record of his genealogy or birth or death. Hie Jewish 
priests were made priests according to the law of a carnal 
commandment. He according to the power of an indis- 
soluble life ; they were mortal and succeeded one another 
in rapid succession, He is immortal and a priest for ever. 
Their office rested upon a transitory arrangement. His 
upon a divine oath. They were sinners, He is separate 
from sinners. 

ST. JOHN 25 

But although the priesthood of Christ is different from 
and ^ more excellent than the legal priesthood^ it never- 
theless fulfils the types of the Law. He has somewhat to 
offer. The oblation which He brings is himself^ and 
this is a spirituai oblation in contrast with the external 
oblation of the blood of bulls and goats. The sacrifice of 
Christ was external and material^ but it was in the truest 
sense spiritual, because the sacrifice of His body and His 
blood was the expression of His willing inward obedience 
to God. He is both Priest and Victim, offering and 
offered. Lastly, the sacrifice of Christ is one, and not 
repeated. He now only offers himself in the sense that 
He presents himself on the throne of God in heaven, as 
the Jewish high priest sprinkled the blood of the victim 
on God's mercy-seat within the veil. Thus the new 
Covenant is fully inaugurated, and the whole method of 
our access to God is changed and consecrated. ^We 
have an altar ' upon earth at which we join in Christ's 
heavenly offering of himself. Those who adhere to 
Judaism are excluded from our altar. 

The Epistle to the Hebrews is intensely theological and 
intensely practical. The whole exposition of the work 
and character of Christ is intended to form an appeal 
to continued faithfulness and a warning against a relapse 
into Judaism. 

The Theology of St. John. — The theology of St. John 
demands some special consideration apart from the 
general record which the apostle has given of the 
teaching of our Lord. His writings belong to a later 
date than the synoptic Gospels, and in many respects 
show the result of mature reflection. The conviction 
that God, ^whom no man hath seen at any time/ had 
indeed been declared to the world by Jesus has entered 
into the soul of the evangelist. Like the golden vessel 
in the holy of holies his heart preserves the memorial of 
the Manna which had been his food. He finds a phrase 
which explains both to Jew and Greek the fact that to 
enter into communion with Jesus is to enter into com- 
munion with God himself, and he brings into prominence 
those passages in our Lord's teaching in which the thought 
of communion between Christ and uie believer is present. 


He writes his Gospel according to a settled plan ; it is 
that his readers may believe that Jesus is the Christy the 
Son of God^ and that in believing they may 'have life 
in his name ' {John xx. 31). To promote a saving fellow- 
ship between men and Jesus is the aim of the book. 

While the style of St. John is totally unlike the style 
of St. Paul^ there is much in the spirit of their writings 
which they manifest in common. We may especially 
observe the strong insistence upon the fact that the 
Son of God existed with the Father before He became 
incarnate^ the personal life and work of the Holy Spirit^ 
the mysterious union between the Christian and Christy 
the element of triumph which both apostles discern in 
the death of Christ {John xvii. 5 ; CoL iL 15)^ the use of 
the word ^Spirit' to describe the divine nature of Christ 
{John vi. 63 ; 2 Cor, iii. 17), the wrath of God abiding 
upon the unconverted {John iii. 36; Eph, ii. 3), the 
second birth {John iii. 3 ; 2 Cor. v. 17 ; Tit. iii. 5), the 
enjoyment of a new life even in this present world {John 
V. 24 ; Col iii. 1). 

Though there is no trace of imitation in St. John's 
Gospel, it is plain that both St. John and St. Paul 
were influenced by the same conception of Christ and 
Christianity. St. John teaches the doctrine of justifica- 
tion by faith when he records the saying of Christ that 
the work which God requires is to ^ believe on him whom 
he hath sent' (vi. 29). And though St John rarely 
uses the word &ith, and says little about the Law^ he 
assumes that ^ life' cannot be derived from the Law^ and 
he compensates for his rare use of the word faith by his 
frequent use of the word believe. Nevertheless, there is 
a distinction in their theology which corresponds with 
the temperament and the history of the two apostles. The 
belief of St. John is deeply contemplative, while the 
belief of St. Paul is intensely enthusiastic. With St. 
John, ^ to believe ' is to receive Christ as the complete 
manifestation of God. It immediately results in an 
illumination of the mind and the attainment of that 
knowledge of God which is the highest good. With St. 
Paul, 'i^th' is a personal adhesion to Christ as the 
Saviour from sin. Whereas they both insist upon the 

ST. JOHN 27 

necessity of our oneness with Christy St. Paul lays most 
stress on our believing in Christ's work for the sinner, 
and St. John on our believing in Christ's relation to the 
Father. Then also the way in which they represent 
Christ depends upon their personal history. St. Paul 
only knew the risen Christ. Hence it was natural that 
his thoughts should be controlled by the resurrection of 
Christ, and the crucifixion which led to it. The im- 
portance of these two facts in the work of our redemption 
is therefore emphasised. But St. John, though he 
represents Christ as ^the Lamb of God which taketh 
away the sin of the world,' and says that His blood 
'cleanseth us from all sin,' seems to regard the death 
of Christ chiefly as a manifestation of the love of the 
Father and the Son for man. The resurrection of Christ 
is chiefly regarded as a means of confirming the disciples' 
faith, and as a step towards the ascension which made it 
possible for the Son to send down the Spirit. Therefore, 
although the doctrine of the Atonement is implied in St. 
John, and the union between Christ and the Christian 
is emphasised, and also the spiritual resurrection of the 
believer in this world, the thought of our d}dng with 
Christ and rising with Christ, in the Pauline sense, can 
hardly be discovered. This is all the more remarkable, 
inasmuch as St. John represents Christ as commanding 
before His death that habit of abiding 'in' Him, 
which St. Paul immediately realised as the essence of 

In the prologue to his Gospel, St. John gives to our 
Lord two names which are intended to supplement each 
other, and to suggest an adequate idea of His person. 
They are * Logos' or Word, and 'only-begotten' or 
unique Son. 

St. John's Doctrine of the Word. — The word Logos 
means both Reason and Word. It was employed in 
Platonic and Stoic philosophy to describe that orderly 
and harmonious life which pervades and upholds nature, 
so that our own reason traces the presence of a kindred 
Reason in the universe. The Stoics said that this Logos 
was the Deity, or part of the Deity which had gone forth 
from Him to form the world. Some held that it divided 


itself into a number of germ-words which are the life of 
the various parts of the universe. The doctrine was taken 
up and modified by Plillo^ the celebrated Jewish philo- 
sopher of Alexandria^ about a.d. 40. His system is 
equally accommodated to the theories of Greeks who had 
Chriental tastes^ and the theories of Jews who were 
attracted by Greek culture. Between God (who is too 
spiritual to be really known by man) and the world 
(which is too gross to be touched by God himself) Philo 
places the Logos. This Logos is a being which radiates 
from out of God and is diffused through the world. It 
is called the ' Wisdom ' of God^ and contains within 
itself God's conceptions and purposes. It is^ in fact^ 
Grod's idea of the world. Philo never loses his Jewish 
power of picturesque imagination^ and so we find that he 
calls the Logos the first-begotten Son of God^ and also 
the High Priest who represents the world before God^ 
and even the image of God and 'second God.' It is^ 
however^ doubtful whether Philo thought that the Logos 
had a personal and conscious existence ; he denies that 
it is ti'uly God^ and he would have utterly scouted the 
notion that the Logos could take a material human body. 

Although this theory is more Greek than Hebrew^ it 
had been to some extent anticipated by the Jews. In 
the Book of Proverbs ^ Wisdom ' is represented as co- 
eternal with God^ and rejoicing with Him at the creation. 
The Book of Wisdom, which was probably written by an 
Alexandrian Jew in the second century b.o.^ personifies 
the divine Wisdom who is the spotless mirror which 
reflects the operations of God and is the image of God's 
goodness. The same book in ch. xviii. 15^ speaks of the 
almighty Word of God as leaping down from heaven to 
punish the Egyptians. 

On the whole^ it seems less probable that St. John 
was influenced by Philo, than that both writers were 
influenced by the books of Proverbs and Wisdom. 

St. John was also probably familiar with the word 
Memra, which is frequently employed in the Jewish 
Targums or paraphrases of Scripture. The Memroy or 
Word of God, is simply the personality of God, especially 
as active in the universe. The Targum of Onkelos in its 

ST. JOHN 29 

paraphrase of Devi, xzxiii. 27 says : ' By His Memra was 
the world created ' — a sentence almost identical with John 
i. 10. The strongly personal conception of the Word 
which appears in tnis more Oriental Jewish literature 
is certainly nearer to St. John's teaching than the con- 
ception of Philo. A deep chasm exists hetween the 
fourth Grospel with its God of love^ its Logos who was in 
eternal intercommunion with God and became f esh and 
redeemed mankind, and Philo with his abstract divine 
^ Being/ his Logos who is perhaps only a group of ideas^ 
his morbid dislike of matter, and his theory of salvation 
by speculation. St. John indulged in no fanciful 
subtlety. He had lived with Jesus, and had become 
convinced that Jesus and God are inseparable, and that 
the worship of Jesus is the worship of God. And he 
chose for Jesus the one and only title which informed 
both Jew and Gentile that his Master was the perfect 
message of God to man, and that the person who shows 
us the way to God is God himsel£ 

St. John's Doctrine of tlie only-begotten Son. — If St. John 
had only said that the divine Logos dwelt in the human 
nature of Jesus, he would have seemed to sanction the 
theory tiiat the divine element in Christ had no personal 
subsistence. His readers might have supposed that the 
Logos was only a quality of a universal Father, found 
equally in Jesus and in all men. But St. John balances 
the word Logos with the phrase only-begotten Son, and 
so protects it from misinterpretation. By itself, the 
phrase only-begotten Son might be misleading. It might 
suggest tiiat tiie divine Fatherhood is to be understood 
in a crude anthropomorphic sense, and that the Son is 
not eternal like tne Father. But as the apostle has 
already explained that he is speaking of the eternal 
spiritual Reason of God, he goes on to speak of this 
Reason as the ^ Son.' By using this term, he shows that 
the Logos has a distinct personality derived from the 
Father, and is in perfect moral communion with the 
Father. The Word is the manifestation of the intellectual 
life of God, passing out from the Father and returning 
to the Fatiier with conscious love. St. John therefore 
teaches that there are within the Godhead activities 


which make it possible for God to have lived from 
eternity that moral life which He calls us to imitate. 
The Father is love from all etermty^ and filial submission 
to His love is not something which began when man was 
created^ but an eternal fact in the complex life of God. 

St. John's Gospel is a narrative of the manifestation of 
this eternal Sonship as it Uibemacled among men. Jesus 
knows the Father in virtue of that life which He lived with 
the Father before He took human flesh. He was the object 
of this Father's love before the foundation of the world. 
He shared His glory, and reveals it to the eye of 
faith while dwelling upon earth. Even the Passion of 
Christ (xii. 23) is a stage in the increase of His glory. 
It is morally glorious^ it is an exhibition of the eternal 
love and power of God which will be rewarded by the 
love and reverence of men. It is part of the peculiar 
attraction of this Gospel that it sees nothing incongruous 
in the fact that the Word himself sat weary by the well 
at Samaria, wept at the grave of Lazarus^ was consoled 
by a human friend^ and in dying remembered a human 

Cbrist in the Apocalypse. — ^The Apocalypse is said by 
IrensBUS to have been written in the time of Domitian^ 
about A.D. 93 to 96. Internal evidence strongly confirms 
this^ and while certain parts of the book contain indica- 
tions of an earlier date, these indications only point 
to the fact that St. John in extreme old age edited 
various visions in one united volume. The doctrine of 
Christ's person agrees closely with that in St. John's 
Gospel. He is called the Word of God, and receives 
perpetual adoration in heaven. It is plain that worship 
of the Logos is regarded as worship of God. His eternity 
is stated in the majestic name ^ Alpha and Omega.' He 
is 'King of Kings and Lord of Lords.' In His wounded 
humanity. He, 'the Lamb, as it had been slain,' is 
present on the throne of God. His Passion is an episode 
of victory^ for He leads His armies in a vesture dipped 
in blood. The writer who had walked with Him on 
earth falls prostrate as though dead when he sees Him 
in the glory of heaven. 



General CliaracteziBticB of tlie Period. — ^The Church spread 
rapidly through the more accessible parts of the Roman 
Empire^ and at the close of this period was firmly 
estaolished in Rome^ Athens^ Alexandria^ Antioch^ 
Lyons^ Ephesus^ and Edessa. While Christianity won 
a great number of converts among the pagans^ the Jews 
opposed it with increasing hostility^ and the second 
destruction of Jerusalem in a.d. 136 widened the 
division between Christianity and Judaism. The Gentile 
Christians^ after a severe struggle^ were successful in 
repressing the teaching of the GnosticB^ or ^men of 
knowledge^' who attempted to combine Christianity 
with pagan mythology and pagan philosophy. This 
strug^e caused more stress to be laid upon certain 
particular aspects of Christian truths and also taught 
the Christians to make use of various theological phrases 
which had been used in a pagan sense by the Gnostics. 
The Church consequently began to fight paganism with 
some of its own weapons. 

The Christians throughout assumed that the sayings 
of the Lord^ the traditions derived from the apostles^ 
and the Jewish scriptures were the ultimate authority 
in questions of doctrine. This threefold authority was 
unique and inalienable. The manner in which it was to 
be interpreted in order to meet present wants was one 
of the great problems which the Church of this period 
faced and answered. The answer was given by insisting 
upon three great tests of truth. 

1. The teaching of the apostles was summed up in a 



creed which was taught to every candidate for Christiaa 
baptism. A fixed baptismal creed^ similar to our present 
Apostles' Creed^ was certainly in use at Rome about 
▲.D. 140^ and was probably in use at the beginning of 
that century. The Church in Asia Minor used a similar 
creed. The various Churches were convinced that their 
creeds contained an implicit refutation of heresy. 

2. A selection of genuine Christian writings was made, 
and the writings t£us selected were named the ^New 
Testament^' the Jewish scriptures being called the ^ Old 
Testament.' The four Gospels were set apart from all 
others, and to these Gospels various collections ot 
apostolic writings were added. Books which did not 
agree with the tradition of the Church were excluded 
from the New Testament. 

8. The bishop, as the chief office-bearer of each 
Christian community, was required to testify to the 
true apostolical tradition preserved in his Church and 
handed down from the days when that Church was 
founded. Great stress was therefore laid upon the 
^ apostolical succession ' of the bishops and clergy. The 
bisnops were the custodians of the truth by virtue of 
that gift which they received from God with the laying 
on of hands. 

Another characteristic of this period is to be found in 
the Apologies which were written by Christians in order 
to defend the doctrines and the morals of the Christian 
Church. The oldest of which we possess clear know- 
ledge were written in a.d. 126. Some description of 
the theology of the Apologists will be given in the next 
chapter. Their writings contain a most valuable account 
of the popular paganism of the second century, and 
undoubtedly showed where it was most vulnerable. 

Judaistic Cliristianity. — ^After the writings contained 
in the New Testament, the most important Jewish 
Christian document is the Didache, or ' Teaching of the 
Twelve Apostles,' published to the modern world in 
1883. It is a church-manual belonging to a section 
of the primitive Church. It was prob2u>ly written in 
Palestine before a.d. 100. It is marked by an archaic 
simplicity and by a conception of Christianity which is 


less wide and deep than that contained in any hook of 
the New Testament. One striking proof of an early 
date is the fact that side hy side with a localised 
ministry there exists an order of itinerant prophets as 
in Eph. iv. 11, 1 Cor, xii. 28. 

Christ is called there the Son of God and the God of 
Davi|l and also the Servant or Child of God. In the 
baptismal formula we find God represented as ^the 
Father^ the Son, and the Holy Ghost Through Christ 
we receive life, knowledge, faith, and immortality. 
Directions are given for the celebration of the Eucharist, 
' a spiritual food and drink,' given to us through God's 
Child. The ' Church ' is mentioned and schism con- 
demned. Fasting on the fourth and the sixth day of the 
week is commanded. The ^ world-deceiver ' or Anti- 
christ is expected to appear ' as a son of God,' and the 
tone of certain passages suggests that the end of the 
world is thought to be not far distant. The ' Kingdom ' 
of God is regarded as a future state into which the 
Church is to be gathered. 

During the lifetime of the apostles the tendency to 
deliberately Judaise the Church was kept in check, but 
when they were all dead, a number of Hebrew Christians 
refused to amalgamate with Grentile Christianity. Their 
history is involved in much obscurity, but it appears 
most probable thcit tliese Judaisiiig Christians left the 
Church after the death of Symeon, bishop of Jerusalem, 
about A.D. 104. The first clear account of these sectaries 
is given by Justin Martyr, who wrote between a.d. 160 
and A.D. 160. He describes a sect of Judaising Christians 
who regard the observance of the law of Moses as 
necessary to salvation, and hold no fellowship with 
Gentile Christians. This sect appears to be identical 
with a party which, Justin says, confesses that Jesus 
was the Messiah, but believes that He was only human 
and not divine. Justin describes other Jewish Christians 
who are circumcised and keep the law of Moses, but do 
not regard the law as binding on Gentile Christians. It 
is almost certain that the latter party believed in the 
divinity of Christ. 

These Jewish Christians, who were willing to live 


with Gentiles and believed that Jesus was truly divine, 
represented the Christianity of St. James and his friends. 
They appear to have called themselves Nazarenes. 
The other Jewish Christians^ who held opinions similar 
to modem Unitariauism^ were called Ebionseans or 
Ebionites^ i,e. ^the poor/ Both the names Ebionite and 
Nazarene date from very primitive times {Matt, v. 3; 
Acts xxiv. 5), but we have no reason to believe that 
Ebionite opinions are as old as the time of the apostles. 

Various writers from the end of the second century 
until the end of the fourth century give us details about 
these Jewish Christians. Irenaeus^ Origen^ Jerome^ and 
Epiphanius are the most important of these writera. Even 
the Ebionites became divided among themselves : some 
retained a belief that Jesus was born of a virgin^ while 
others invented the theory that He was bom of a human 
father like any ordinary man. Among orthodox Jewish 
Christian writings of the second century we must reckon 
the Dialogue of Ariston of Pella^ a conti'oversial treatise 
against the Jews. We have also fragments of an Ebionite 
' Gospel according to the Hebrews/ an apocryphal work 
which is a mixture of the narrative of our Gospels with 
various legends. 

In addition to the Ebionites and Nazarenes there was 
a Jewish Christian sect which showed the same char- 
acteristics as the false teachers rebuked by St. Paul in 
his Epistle to the Colossiaus. These Essene Ebionites^ as 
they are now generally called^ were circumcised, and 
kept the Sabbath like the other Ebionites. They also 
ridiculed St. Paul. But they differed from the other 
Ebionites in eating vegetables only^ and in declaring 
that the sacrificial system of the Old Testament was not. 
ordained by God. They believed that Christ was a great 
angel^ higher than all other created beings. One of 
their sacred books was said to be a revelation given in 
the time of Trajan to a man named Elkesai. They 
also invented a number of legends about St. Clement 
of Rome^ which unfortunately passed into Catholic 
circles^ and after undergoing some alterations were 
believed to be genuine, and did a great deal to build 
up the authority of the bishops of Rome. 


The Nazarenes became gradually mingled with the 
Syriaospeakiog Christians of Palestine. The Ebionites 
continued to exist for a long time in Palestine and 
Arabia^ and it was chiefly from them that Muhammad 
derived his teaching. The detestation which the 
Moslems have for Christianity shows us what a pro- 
phetic insight St. Paul had into the true character of 
his Judaising opponents. 

Catholic Gtentile diristiaiiity. — The strictly theological 
Catholic writings of this period are the Epistle of Clement 
to the Corinthians (a.d. 97)^ the Epistle of Barnabas 
(? A.D. 98)^ the seven Epistles of Ignatius (a.d. 110)^ the 
Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians (a.d. 110)^ the frag- 
ments of the Expositions of Papias (a.d. 130)^ the Shepherd 
of Hermas (a.d. 140)^ and the so-called Second Epistle of 
Clement {} a.d. 140). 

The Catholic faith itself is clearly set forth in the 
Roman baptismal creed of this period : — 

' I believe in God, the Father Almighty, and in Christ 
Jesus, His Sou, the only-begotten. Who was born of the 
Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary, Who was crucified 
under Pontius Pilate, and buried, on the third day rose 
again, ascended into the heavens, sitteth at the right hand 
of the Father, whence He cometh to judge the living 
and dead. And in the Holy Ghost, and the Resurrection 
of the flesh.* 

The exact date of some of the remaining clauses of 
the creed is doubtful, but the words ' holy Church ' and 
* forgiveness of sins ' were probably recited in the creed 
during part of the second century. 

While the theology of the Catholic writers is marked 
by considerable variations of thought and expression, 
they show a close agreement as to the main articles of 
the Christian faith. A clever attempt has been made 
to prove that the early Christians held two funda- 
mentally different conceptions as to the person of 
Christ, one party believing that He was only a man 
to whom the Holy Spirit was given, and that He was 
afterwards adopted by God and made semi-divine, the 
other party believing that He was a heavenly Spirit 
who took flesh and then returned to heaven. This 


theory may be compared with Baur s theory that the 
primitive Church contained two parties which differed 
fundamentally with regard to the observance of the 
Mosaic law. But just as there is no proof that any of 
the apostles insisted that Gentile converts should observe 
the law^ so there is no proof that any members of the 
early Church denied that Christ existed in heaven before 
He appeared on earth. 

The Epistle of Barnabas was probably written by a 
converted Jew of Alexandria^ but is anti-Jewish in tone. 
The view of Christ is a high view. He is in a unique 
sense the Son of God, the Beloved, and the Child or 
Servant of God. He is the Son ' not of man^ but of 
God.' He was 'Lord of the whole world' at the 
creation^ and 'the prophets receiving grace from Him 
prophesied concerning Him.' He 'came in the fleshy' 
for if He had not assumed human flesh men could not 
have looked upon Him^ any more than they can endure 
to gaze upon the rays of the sun. A propitiatory char- 
acter is attributed to His death. He 'desired so to 
suffer' that we mi^ht be cleansed 'through the blood 
of His sprinkling. 'He could not suffer except for 
our sakes.' He is the 'future Judge of quick and dead.' 
He has 'renewed us in the remission of sins^ so that 
we should have the soul of children.' This renewal 
takes place in ' the baptism which bringeth remission of 
sins.' The author closely connects faith with hope^ and 
teaches that we are under 'the new law of our Lord 
Jesus Christ,' this law being 'free from the yoke of 
constraint.' We Christians are 'children of gladness.' 

The real beauty of much that is said in this Epistle 
is somewhat marred by the author's extreme antagonism 
to Judaism and his strange idea that the Jews were 
wrong in giving a literal interpretation to the ceremonial 
commands of the Jewish Law. 

St. Clement, bishop of Rome, is one of the most inter- 
esting figures of the early Church. His letter was 
written to restore order in the Church of Corinth, where 
the laity had been quarrelling with their presbyters, or 
' overseers ' as they are still called. Clement writes in 
a sober and moderate tone, but he insists strongly upon 



the principle of Apostolical Succession^ and his statements 
imply that the Jewish threefold ministry of high-priest^ 
priest^ and Levite is reflected in the threefold ministry 
of the Christian Church. Although he does not use 
the word ^ overseer ' in the sense of hishop^ the position 
which he occupied at Rome and the tone of his directions 
comhine to prove that he helieved in an episcopal system 
of Church government 

Clement's theology is comprehensive though not pro- 
found. It unites various elements of apostolic teaching 
in a manner which would have heen impossible if the 
apostolic band had been divided into the two camps 
which have been depicted by modern sceptics. Clement 
uses the phrase ^justified by faith/ but he is anxious that 
good works should be strenuously maintained, for we 
are under * the yoke of the loving-kindness ' of Christ. 
He asserts that ^the Lord Jesus Christ liveth^' and 
mentions His name together with the name of the 
Father and of the Holy Spirit. He speaks of the 
suiferings of Christ as the sufferings of God. He is 
^our High-priest and Guardian.' He is called Lord^ 
and it is said that He ' hath given His blood for us by 
the will of God, and His flesh for our flesh and His 
life for our lives.' It should be observed that although 
Clement firmly believes in the Divinity of Christ, he 
does not hesitate to call Him by the title * Beloved 
Child ' or 'Beloved Servant.* We are therefore justifted 
in saying that the early Christians did not^ when they 
used that title, mean that Christ was only an exalted 

The old Homily which is incorrectly called the Second 
Epistle of Clement teaches similar doctrine. It says, 
*We ought to think concerning Jesus Christ as con- 
cerning God, as concerning the Judge of quick and 
dead.' The pre-existent divine nature of Christ is 
called 'Spirit in contrast with His 'flesh' or human 
nature— 'Christ the Lord who saved us, being at first 
Spirit became flesh and thus called us.' The practice 
of calling the divine nature of Christ ' Spirit ' is found 
in the New Testament (John vi. 63 ; 1 Cor, xv. 45 ; 2 Cor. 
ill. 17, and probably Bom. i. 4). It is found in Athanifc- 


6i\i», although in his time this use of the word was rare. 
In writers of the second century this was very common,* 
and it has led many modern critics into the mistake of 
thinking that these ancient writers made a confusion 
between the second and the third persons of the Trinity. 
The author of 2 Clement has a strong idea of the earnest- 
ness of the Christian life. He calls it 'the contest of 
incorruption^* i.e. the contest which has an immortal 
reward, and he says ' if we cannot all be crowned, let 
us at least come near to the crown.' The writer con- 
siders it impossible to serve both God and Mammon, 
and necessary for all to ' keep their baptism pure and 
undefiled.' In insisting upon the necessity of good 
works the author makes some statements which seem 
to depart from the spirit of the New Testament. ' Fast- 
ing is better than prayer, but almsgiving than both.' 
On the other hand, he sharply rebukes the spirit of 
'merchandise' which seeks for an immediate recom- 
pense from God for its righteousness. 

St, Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, wrote seven letters 
shortly before his martyrdom at Rome in 110. While 
the tone of these letters is emotional and enthusiastic, 
the theology is well-reasoned and highly developed. 
Ignatius desired to warn his readers against certain 
tendencies to Judaism which he had observed in Asia 
Minor, and also against some Docetic theories which 
represented that the human life and suffering of Christ 
were unreal, as though He were too sacred to share 
our lot. The completeness of the theology of Ignatius is 
largely the result of this double attack upon the Chris- 
tian religion. 

The doctrine of Ignatius is that 'God appeared in 
human form unto newness of eternal .life.' Christ is 
'our God.' He was 'with the Father before the ages' 
timeless, invisible, and unbegotten, i.e. He did not 
derive life from His Father in the same way as men 
derive life from their fathers. Ignatiss is quite con- 
vinced that the Son is God, and yet he confidently says 

^ Hermas, v. Sim, 6 ; Iren. adv, Hofr. v. 1, 2 ; Theophil. od 
AuM. ii. 10 ; Tert. Apol. 21, 


that ' there is one God, who manifested himself through 
Jesus Christ.' The Son took true human flesh, and 
therefore we worship ' one only Physician, of flesh and of 
Spirit, generate and not generate, God in man, true Life 
in death. Son of Mary and Son of God^ first passible and 
then impassible, Jesus Christ our Lord.' The Son is 
<»l]ed the Word as in the Gospel of St. John, and in the 
manner of St. John Ignatius says, ^ I wish for the bread 
of God which is the flesh of Christ.' The fact that 
Christ was miraculously born is asserted in the plainest 
way, for Ignatius puts side by side ' the virginity of Mary, 
and her child-bearing, and likewise also the death of the 
Lord.' He lays stress upon the indwelling of Christ in 
the Christian ; Jesus Christ is ' our true living,' * our 
inseparable life.' 

If we had no remnant of the age which came after the 
death of the apostles except these letters, it would be 
almost impossible to doubt that the apostles held those 
doctrines which we find in the writings which bear the 
names of St. Paul and St. John. 

Ignatius in maintaining the unity of the faith does 
everything in his power to preserve the unity of the 
Church. He regards the episcopate of what he calls the 
* Catholic Church ' as the guarantee of the Church's 
visible unity. He is the earliest writer known to us 
who uses the word ^ episkopos ' or ' overseer ' no longer 
as the title of a presbyter but as the title of the highest 
order in the Christian ministry. He speaks of bishops 
as ^established in the farthest parts of the earth,' and 
his statements with regard to them are one of the strong- 
est proofs that the apostles created a permanent order of 
ministers to govern the local presbyters and deacons. 
He regards a valid ministry as essential to the existence 
of a Church. 'Apart from these {sc. bishop, presbyters^ 
and deacons) there is not even the name of a Churcn.' 

St, Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, suffered martyrdom in 
166 or 166. Of his letters, that to the Philippians alone 
survives, but a full account of his martyrdom and a true 
index to his opinions is found in an epistle written 
immediately after his death by the Christians of Smyrna. 
Polycarp remembered St John, he received from Ignatius 


an epistle which still exists^ and he taught Irenseus. He 
is therefore the most important link between the age of 
the apostles and the date when the Church emerges into 
the clear daylight of history. His letter is very simple^ 
and abounds in quotations from St. Paul's Epistles. He 
shows the same horror as Ignatius towards the tendency 
to deny the real manhood of Christ. Christ is called 
'our Lord and God' and 'the eternal High-priest.' His 
atonement^ example^ and future judgment are mentioned. 
It is important to notice that although Polycarp was the 
disciple of St. John^ he delights in the teaching of St 
Paul. His letter, like the letter of Clement of Rome, 
shows no trace or recollection of any fundamental opposi- 
tion between the different apostles, and the simplicity of 
the document makes any idea of a pious fraud entirely 

The letter of the Smyrnaeans on the martyrdom of 
Polycarp is a writing of the utmost dignity and pathos. 
It is historical and not doctrinal, but contains some 
passages of great doctrinal importance. The dying words 
of Polycarp therein recorded show a clearly defined 
belief in the Holy Trinity. 'I praise Thee, I bless 
Thee, I glorify Thee, through the eternal and heavenly 
High-priest, Jesus Christ, Thy beloved Son, through 
whom with Him and the Holy Spirit be glory both now 
and ever and for the ages to come. Amen.' 

The Smyrnasans in worshipping Christ did not regard 
Him as a deified or saintly man. They expressly dis- 
tinguish their worship of Christ from their reverence for 
the saints. * For Him, being the Son of God, we adore, 
but the martyrs as disciples and imitators of the Lord we 
cherish as they deserve. Like Ignatius, whose writings 
this letter somewhat resembles, the Christians of Smyrna 
speak of 'the Catholic Church throughout the world,' of 
which Church Christ is the Shepherd. 

Papias, bishop of Hierapolis, was another disciple of 
St. John. Only a few fragments of his writings remain. 
From a doctrinal point of view they are important for two 
reasons. (1) Papias interpreted the story of the six days 
of creation and of Paradise ' spiritually,' Le. he apparently 
thought that they contained an allegorical account of the 


Church ; (2) He believed that after the general resurrec- 
tion Christ will reign with the saints upon the earth and 
the Kingdom of God will come^ creation being renewed 
and the fruits of the earth becoming extraordinarily pro- 
ductive. Jerome calls this ^a Jewish tradition of the 
MiUennium^' but the tradition is also connected with such 
Christian sources as Rev, xx. 4 and Bom, viii. 19. 

The Shepherd ofHermae is an important work written 
by a Roman Christian about 140. The book is marked 
by a desire for the moral improvement of the Church, 
and at the same time its severity is tempered by rules 
which admit the possibility of a new admission to Church 
privileges after one serious fall. Hermas teaches that 
penitence does remove sins committed after baptism, that 
the gravest sins may be forgiven, but that this peni- 
tence, which implies a certain routine, must take place 
only once. 

The teaching of Hermas with regard to the Holy 
Trinity is not very clear, and it has been asserted that he 
does not believe in the Trinity at all, but in two divine 
persons, viz., the Father and the Holy Ghost It has 
also been asserted that he taught the ' Adoptionist ' theory 
of Christ's person, namely, that Jesus was a mere man 
upon whom the Holy Ghost descended at His baptism, 
so that He became an ' adopted ' Son of God. lliis is 
then alleged to be a truer form of Christian doctrine than 
we find in Ignatius and Polycarp, and so the Shepherd oj 
Hermas is quoted in order to throw doubt upon the 
historical character of the Catholic faith. 

All these assertions rest upon a complete miscon- 
ception. Hermas is not an Adoptionist at all. He says 
nothing about any exaltation of Jesus at His baptism, 
and so far from teaching that He was a man who became 
half-divine at His baptism, Hermas teaches that the ^ Son 
of God ' existed before the creation of the world, was the 
Counsellor of the Father at the creation, and upholds the 
world. ^ The modem misunderstanding concerning Her- 
mas has been caused by the fact that he calls the divine 
nature of Christ 'Spirit,' and in a somewhat clumsy 

1 V. Sim, 6 ; ix. Sim, 12 and 14. 


gtatements about the eternal Word were merely figurative 
and allegorical. His disciple Cleomenes held the theory 
that God is both invisible and visible^ and that when 
visible He is the Son. It is very probable that these 
teachers sincerely desired to maintain the great truth 
that it was God himself who chose to share man's griefis 
and trials, but it cannot be denied that their theory 
undermines some of the most important truths of the 
Gospel. There are reasons for thinking that their 
conception of God was influenced by the philosophy 
of the Stoics. 

Sabellius taught the most complete and systematic form 
of Medalist Monarchianism. He appears to have been 
connected with the district of Pentapolis in libya^ and 
lectured in Rome in the days of Zephyrinus and Callistus. 
His influence was so important that Catholics in the East 
generally called Modalist Monarch ians ^ Sabellians.' He 
advanced beyond Noetus by giving a definite place in the 
Godhead to the Holy Spirit. Moreover^ by teaching that 
the three divine persons are three distinct activities^ he 
made a nearer approach to Catholic doctrine than Noetus. 
But the likeness between Sabellianism and Catholicism 
was only superficial. Sabellius was strictly Modalist. 
He held' that God is a unit^ and that as Father God is the 
Creator and Liaw-giver^ as Son He is Redeemer^ as Spirit 
He is the Giver of life and holiness. These modes of 
God's life were taught to be manifested successively and 
not simultaneously. They were called prosopa, a word 
which the Catholics sometimes employed to describe the 
different persons of the Trinity^ but which Sabellius Used 
in the sense of a transitory manifestation. He described 
God by the uncouth word Huiopator, Son-Father. Pope 
Callistus^ in spite of his leaning towards Monarchianism^ 
excommunicated Sabellius. 

It is important to notice that the central idea of this 
doctrine was accepted by Schleiermacher^ an eminent 
German preacher and writer of the early part of the nine- 
teenth ceptury. Schleiermacher became the founder of 
a large school of German theologians^ who have used 
Christian phrases about the Trinity and the incarnation 
while rejecting the ancient and legitimate meaning of 


such phrases. £ven in England we may discern a 
tendency towards Sabellianism in shallow explanations 
of the Trinity as ' God in nature^ God in history, and God 
in the conscience,' or in the statement that we preserve 
the doctrine of the Trinity if we recognise that God has 
revealed himself as Power, Wisdom, and Love, while 
denying that these three essential activities eternally 
knew and loved each other in a personal relationship. 

AdoptioniBt MonarchianiBm. — This agrees with Modalist 
Monarchianism in holding that there is only one person 
in the Godhead. Its peculiarity is the theory that Jesus 
became the adopted Son of God, a divine power having 
been bestowed upon Him. It is assumed that Christ is 
essentially human. This heresy was brought to Rome by 
TheodotUB, a tanner from Byzantium. He was expelled 
from the Church by Pope Victor about 190 or earlier. As 
St. Hippol3rtus shows that Theodotus taught that Jesus 
was only a human prophet on whom the Spirit, otherwise 
called Christ, descended at His baptism,^ we can safely 
assert that the view held by Theodotus as to * the rule of 
faith ' was very different from the view held by Catholic 
Christians. His heresy is often called Psilanthropisin 
(i,e, the doctrine that our Lord is 'mere man*). 

Another Theodotus, by profession a banker, taught the 
same doctrine at Rome in the time of Pope Zephyrinus. 
Christ, he said, was a ' mere man ' who received the Holy 
Spirit as His baptism, and so became exalted to a quasi- 
divine rank. Some of the followers of Theodotus believed 
that Christ became completely deified aftef His resurrec- 
tion. Others denied this, and thought that He never was 
really God at all. The Theodotians affirmed that the 
apostles themselves had taught as they did, and that the 
ti'uth of the Gospel-message had been kept until the times 
of Victor ! In spite of the grotesque character of this 
assertion, it has been utilised by eminent modern Ration- 
alists who have misunderstood the teaching of Her mas as 
Adoptionist, and endeavoured to establish a chain ot 
Adoptionist teaching between the apostles and the 

1 PhUos. vii. 36. 


Artemon who died about 270 was the last important 
teacher of Adoptionist Monarchianism in Rome. 

Paul of Samosata stands out as the greatest representa- 
tive of this school of thought. He was a Syrian and was 
bishop of Antioch, one of the most magnificent and 
populous cities in the empire^ and was partly responsible 
both for the long-lived ecclesiastical jealousies between 
Antioch and Alexandria^ and also for the Arian contro- 
versies of the fourth century. 

Paul of Samosata taught that there was in God only 
one prosopon or person. The Word was only an im- 
personal power of Grod^ just as the reason of any man is 
impersonal. This Word dwelt, or rather acted, in the 
prophets, especially Moses. In Jesus, the Child of the 
Virgin Mary, this Word dwelt in a peculiar degree. The 
Word however dwelt in Jesus, not essentially but as a 
quality. That is, Jesus was only a prophet more inspired 
than other prophets. At His baptism Jesus was anointed 
by the Holy Ghost and His nature became still more 
divine after His resurrection. He therefore became 
divine progressively, His progress being the reward of His 
love and obedience to God. He might be called ' God,' 
and be said to have 'one will with God.' These expres- 
sions were nevertheless only metaphorical. The real 
meaning of Paul of Samosata was that ' the Saviour was 
connected with God.' He consistently tried to put 
down the use of chants which implied the real Divinity 
of Christ. 

His fellow-bishops regarded his doctrines with natural 
horror, and three successive synods were held at Antioch 
to consider his case. The last synod was held in 268 or 
269, and it is known that it rejected the word homo-ousios, 
consubstantial, as applied to the Son. St. Hilary and 
St. Athanasius di£fer in their account of this circum- 
stance. Athanasius suggests that the word was rejected 
by the Catholics because Paul said that they used it in 
a materialising sense; Hilary leads us to suppose that 
Paul used it to imply that the Word was an impersonal 
attribute of the Father, and that the Catholics therefore 
condemned it. 

In 272 the Emperor Aurelian took from Paul the 


ecclesiastical property of the Church of Antioch. But 
his influence was by no means at an end. His pupil^ 
Lucian of Antioch^ who was martyred in 812^ changed 
the doctrine of Paul of Samosata by teaching that the 
Word who dwelt in Jesus was a semi-divine creature^ a 
kind of demigod^ and not an impersonal influence of the 
Father. He admitted that tnere was another Word 
which was the impersonal reason of God. This theory 
was so simple that it won acceptance^ and among the 
hearers of Lucian who embraced this paganised Chris- 
tianity were Arias and Eusebius of Nicomedia. 

Something more similar to the original teaching of 
Paul lingered in some districts of the East. The Acts of 
the dispute of Archelaus and Manes, a document of the 
early part of the fourth century, is Adoptionist in its 
Christology, and the sect of the Pauliani was well-known 
in that century. It is more than probable that the 
notorious sect of the Faulicians^ which spread over part 
of Europe during the Middle Ages, and had a few 
Armenian adherents even in the nineteenth century, 
was named after the great Syrian bishop. The word 
' Paulician ' is Armenian in form, and it seems that 
in the ninth century, or rather earlier, an Armenian 
named Smbat revived a crude form of the teaching of 
Paul of Samosata, and secured a host of followers among 
the less cultivated Armenians. 



Sacraments. — In the old Latin Bible the Greek word 
^mystery' was translated by the word ' sacramentum,' 
which meant a sacred obligation. The word sacra- 
mentum thus acquired the meaning of 'sacred ordi- 
nance.' It was probably used at a very early date by 
the Christians who spoke Latin to denote all the most 
sacred and secret elements of religion. In the letter 
written about the Christians by Pliny to the Emperor 
Trajan in 112^ the word ' sacramentum ' is used in a 
manner which suggests that the Christians^ though not 
Pliny himself, already applied it to the Eucharist.^ By 
the year 200 its use was quite established. Tei'tullian 
applies it to anything especially important in God's 
revelation to man. Baptism and the Eucharist having 
been expressly instituted by our Lord^ were closely 
associated in the minds of Christians. Thus Tertullian 
speaks of 'the Sacrament of Baptism and of the 
Eucharist.' As St. Paul had spoken of the revealed 
secrets of God as 'mysteries/ and called the apostles 
* stewards of God's mysteries/ the Fathers of the Church 
continued his practice. Some external similarities 
between the pagan mysteries of initiation and the Sacra- 
ments instituted by Christ caused a development of this 
manner of speech^ and some writers, notably Clement of 
Alexandria, poetically describe the rites of baptism in 
words appropriate to the mysteries of Eleusis. 
There is nowever no proof that either the doctrine 

1 Ab the service included an undertaking to obey God's 
Clommandments, this ' Sacrament ' was possibly Baptism. 


or the ritual of the Christian Sacraments was permanently 
affected hy the pagan mysteries. The Rationalistic 
attempts to prove that this was the case have been 
based upon an imperfect knowledge of the antiquity 
of Christian ritual^ and upon a neglect of the fact that 
in all forms of religion there is a certain similarity 
caused by the natural instincts of the human heart. 
The fact that the Greek Fathers speak of the Sacraments 
in language derived from pagan devotion proves very 
little. St. Peter and St. Paul had done the same^ and 
it was almost impossible for any cultured man who 
spoke Greek to do otherwise. 

M. Renan and others have attempted to show that 
the influence of the pagan mysteries entered Christianity 
through the door of Gnosticism. Renan says : ' It is by 
Gnosticism that Christianity first announced itself as a 
new religion, destined to endure, having a worship and 
Sacraments, and capable of producing an art. It is by 
Gnosticism that the Church united itself with the ancient 
mysteries, and appropriated the elements in them which 
satisfied the people. ^ Such statements are unproved, 
and worse than unproved. For it is cei-tain that 
Christian worship and Sacraments occupied a position 
of high importance long before Gnosticism of a Greek 
type was fashionable, i.e. from a.d. 126 to a.d. 160. And 
such evidence as exists with regard to special points of 
ritual, suggests that the Gnostics parodied the worship 
of the Church, and not that the Church imitated the 
mummery of the Gnostics. 

A real instance of ancient ritual being accepted by the 
Church is to be found in the Christian Marriage service. 
Marriage being both a civil ceremony and a religious 
ceremony, it was to be expected that some of the old 
ceremonies would be tolerated. The betrothal, the 
giving of the ring, the dowry of worldly goods, the bridal 
veil, and the floral wreath, are all derived from pagan 
Rome. But everything directly religious in the pagan 
ritual was displaced, and the doctrine of Christian 
marriage remained intact. 

1 Viglise Chr^tierme, p. 155. 


Number of the Sacraments. — ^As the word ^mystery' 
and the word ^sacrament' were both used in a wide 
sense^ so as to include any of the deep things revealed 
by God in Christy it follows that the early Christians 
could not speak of ^ two ' or ' seven ' Sacraments in the 
modern fashion. It was not until the twelfth century 
that Hugh of St. Victor and Roland^ and still more 
clearly Peter the Lombard^ reckoned seven Sacraments. 
Hugh and Peter spoke of Baptism and the Eucharist as 
the principal Sacraments^ and in this they retained the 
spirit^ if not the letter, of the early Fathers of the Church. 
These two Sacraments certainly far outweighed all other 
rites in the estimation of the early Christians, as is 
shown by St. Augustine and previous writers. It is 
possible that Confirmation would have been placed in 
nearly as high a position, if Confirmation had not been 
usually administered immediately after Baptism and 
included in the baptismal service itself. 

Baptism. — The abundant teaching contained in the 
New Testament with reference to Baptism removed the 
necessity of much discussion as to the nature of its efifects. 
St. Paul had plainly taught that Baptism alters the 
spiritual status of the baptized, cancelling his past sins, 
and imparting a power of divine life. It is the laver of 
regeneration {Tit iii. 6). Baptism was in the name of 
the Three Persons of the Trinity {Didache vii.). In this 
book, immersion is regarded as the best method of 
baptizing, but to pour water upon the head is sufficient. 
In the Epistle of Barnabas, Christian Baptism is dis- 
tinguished from Jewish Baptism, inasmuch as the former 
alone 'bringeth remission of sins.' Justin speaks of the 
baptized as ^recreated,' and calls Baptism ^the bath for 
remission of sins and unto regeneration ' {ApoL i. 66). 
Iffnatius also regards Baptism as a defence against future 
sin — ' let your Baptism remain your shields. 

In Hermas we have tlie poetical idea that the Church 
is built upon waters (3 Vis, iii.), and the author regards 
Baptism as so necessary that he thinks that those who 
died before the coming of Christ were baptized in Hades 
by the apostles and the teachers of Christianity. 

Hermas calls Baptism the 'seal,' a word which had 


been used by St. Jobn in the Apocalypse to describe the 
mark ffiven to the tested followers of our Lord. Justin 
calls Baptism an ^enlightenment^' the author of the 
Epistle to the Hebrews having previously spoken of 
those initiated into Christianity as ^enlightened.' The 
words ^seal' and ^enlightenment' were used by the pagans 
in connection with their mysteries. Clement of Alex- 
andria says : * Being baptized we are enlightened^ being 
enlightened we are made sons^ being made sons we are 
made perfect^ being made perfect we are made immortal.'^ 
It will be observed that such language has a very Greek 
flavour^ but that each phrase can nevertheless find a 
parallel in the New Testament. 

Origen calls Baptism 'the first remission of sins.*^ 
In studying Penitence we shall see how the Church 
decided to grant absolution for sins committed after 
Baptism, sins which were regarded as infinitely more 
serious than those committed before Baptism, inasmuch 
as the latter were committed in ignorance, and before 
'the knowledge of God' was gained. 

In&nt Baptism probably dates from apostolic times. 
There are good grounds for thinking that when the 
Jews baptized their proselytes they baptized their children 
also. Justin compares baptism with circumcision, which 
suggests that it was administered to children. Irenaeus 
definitely mentions Infant Baptism.^ About a.d. 190 
Clement of Alexandria speaks of ^ babes drawn out of 
the water,' and apparently refers to Infant Baptism.^ 
Origen both compares Baptism with circumcision and 
says, 'The Church has received it as a tradition from 
the apostles to administer Baptism even to infants' 

The Eucharist as a Sacrament— The Church constantly 
maintained the teaching of St. Paul that to partake 
of the consecrated bread and wine is to partake of 
the body and blood of Christ. The outward symbols 
were not regarded merely as symbols but as the channel 

1 Peed. i. 6. 26. ^ In Lev, Horn. ii. 4. 

• Adv, JIcBT, ii. 22. 4 ; of. Greek Fragment, 33. 

• Peed, iii. 11. 59. 

• Ep. ad Bom, Lib. v. 9 ; in Lev, Horn. viii. 3. 


or vehicle for imparting the life of Christ to the heliever. 
Although the Didache gives us a rather meagre idea of 
belief^ even here the Eucharist is thought to be connected 
with a special presence of Christy as is suggested by the 
use of the words Maran atha (the Lord cometh) and the 
thanksgiving at the communion^ ^Thou didst bestow 
upon us spiritual food and drink and eternal life through 
Thy Son.' Wherever apostolic traditions were strong 
and the doctrine of the incarnation was intelligently 
grasped^ a definite belief as to the Eucharist prevailed. 
The language of our Lord in John vi. had a marked 
influence in the creation of this belief. 

So Ignatius (ad Eph, xx.) says^ ^breaking one breads 
which is the medicine of immortality,* and he reproaches 
the Docetists^ who denied the resdity of the incarna- 
tion^ because ^they abstain from Eucharist and prayer 
because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the 
flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ' {ad Smym, vi.). In 
the same way Justin says, ^We have been taught that 
this food (over which thanks have been offered by the word 
of prayer which comes from Him, and on which our 
blood and flesh are nourished by a transformation) is the 
flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh ' (Apol, 
i. 66). In these statements of Ignatius and Justin we 
see that the Eucharist is regarded (a) as a guarantee of 
the incarnation, a symbol of the union between the 
human and the divine nature of Christ, and (b) as a 
guarantee of the cleansing and resurrection of the 
Christian's body. 

This is very clearly stated by Ireneeus : ' It is no longer 
common bread but the Eucharist, composed of two things, 
an earthly and a heavenly; thus also our bodies par- 
taking of the Eucharist are no longer mortal, but have 
the hope of the resurrection ' (adv. Ecer, iv. 18. 6). 
These doctrines are sometimes represented by modern 
writers as magical and superstitious ; but if we grant that 
the writings attributed to St. Paul and St. John are 
genuine, it is hard to deny that the doctrines are apostolic, 
and it is equally hard to represent them as inconsistent 
with the apostolic doctrine of Christ's person. The 
teaching of Tertullian is fundamentally the same as 


that of Irenseus^ and his belief is misrepresented when he 
is said to hold that the Eucharist is only a figure of the 
body of Christ 

The teaching of Clement of Alexandria and Origen is 
less clear^ bein^ affected by their allegorical method of 
interpreting reUgious facts. Clement says that the 
Eucharist brings man to immortality and to a union 
between the human spirit and the divine Logos. But he 
seems to regard the body of Christ in the Eucharist as 
itself a spirit {Peed. ii. 2. 20). In the same way Origen 
quite simply says^ 'We eat loaves which have become 
tiirough prayer a certain holy body which also sanctifies 
those who use it with sound intention ' (c. Cela, viii. 33). 
But he elsewhere speaks of the body and blood of Christ 
received in the Eucharist as ' the word which nourishes 
and the word which rejoices the heart' {in Matt. Gomm, 
Ser. 85). It is therefore difficult to determine what 
precise meaning Clement and Origen attached to holy 
communion, but they believed that the communicant 
receives 'the divine Word,' i,e, the Divinity of Christ, 
or a word from tfie Word. They did not believe that the 
Christian only receives Christ figuratively, but on the 
other hand they did not state with sufficient clearness 
that the Christian partakes of the fiesh of Christ. This 
is the result of their doctrine of Christ's person in which 
Christ is too exclusively regarded as belonging to the 
sphere of spirits. We may say that Clement and Origen 
imagined in the Eucharist a mystery behind the mystery 
discerned by their predecessors, for they regarded the 
elements not simply as united with the flesh and blood 
of Christ but with a flesh and blood which are divine 

The Eucharist as a Sacrifice.— The Eucharist from very 
early times was habitually called a sacrifice, although 
very little attempt was made to define the word 'sacrifice.' 
The Ante-Nicene writers agree in regarding the Eucharist 
as a sacrifice in which we offer the first fruits of earth 
with thanksgiving for all that God has done for us, and 
consecrate these first-fruits so that they become Christ's 
body and blood, and thereby we make a memorial not 
merely of His death but of Mim. During the Middle 


Ages there arose a tendency to lay such stress upon the 
passion of Christ as to forget His ascended life^ and side 
by side with this tendency grew the habit of connecting 
the Eucharist almost entirely with the death of Christ. 
This habit passed from mediseval Catholicism into 
Protestantism, but it was generally absent in the early 
Church. The ancient liturgies do not isolate the passion 
of Christ but connect it with His resurrection ^ and 
ascension. Thus they are in harmony with St. Ambrose 
(died A.D. 897) and other later writers who teach that 
the Eucharist is neither a bare commemoration of the 
death of Christ nor a repetition of that deaths but is the 
co-operation with Christ's present intercession and His 
ofifering of himself to God in heaven. 

The most ancient references to the sacrificial nature of 
the Eucharist are in 1 Cor, x. 14-22 and^ probably^ Hehr, 
xiii. 10. The theory that the word ^ altar * in the latter 

Eassage has reference to the Lord's Supper is supported 
y the use of the word in a passage in Ignatius : ' There 
is one fiesh of our Lord Jesus Christy and one cup unto 
union in His blood ; there is one altar^ as there is one 
bishop' {ad Philad, iv.). Clement also teaches this 
doctrine in a very simple form when he says that it is 
the duty of the Christian clergy *to offer the gifts,' i.e. 
oblations {ad Cor, 44). In the Didache xiv. the Eucharist 
is called a sacrifice and is described as the pure offering 
foretold in Malachi i. Justin also quotes this prophecy, 
and calls the Eucharist ^the bread which our Christ 
delivered unto us to offer for a memorial of His in- 
carnation' {Dial. 70). IrensBus, like Justin, believes 
that our Lord intended that His disciples should offer up 
the bread which is made the body of Christ and the cup 
which is made His blood. Tertullian and the Canons of 
Hippol3rtus show us that about a.d. 200 the Eucharist 
was offered for the departed. 

These writers, however, are content to describe the 
elements as offered, and do little towards defining in 

1 St. Oyprian, Ep, 63. 16, says that whereas Ohrist offered the 
Eucharist in the evening, Ohristians offer it in the morning in 
oommemoration of the resurrection. 


what sense^ if any^ the Euchariit is offered after it has been 

St. Cyprian (died a.d. 268) seems to go somewhat 
further. He says: ^That priest acts in the place of 
Christ who imitates that which Christ did^ and then 
offers in the Church to God the Father a true and 
perfect sacrifice' {Ep, 63. 14). But it is wrong to 
suppose that Cyprian represents the Eucharist as a re- 
petition of the aeath of Christy or to suppose that his 
words countenance the theory of some Roman writers 
that the essence of the Eucharistic sacrifice is that Christ 
in the Sacrament suhmits to a new ^self-emptying' or 
annihilation. Cyprian says : ^The passion is the sacrifice 
of the Lord which we offer ' {Ep, 63. 17)> and though he 
speaks of ' offering the hlood ' he also speaks of ' offering 
the chalice in commemoration of the Lord. ' He apparently 
means that in the Eucharist we offer the hlood which was 
once shed^ and plead the merits of Christ's passion. In 
spite of the fact that he is now ordinarily regarded as 
having introduced a marked change into the doctrine of 
the Eucharist^ we must conclude that his teaching shows 
but little development. Nor does his doctrine of the 
priesthood exclude the participation of the laity in the 
offering of the Eucharist For he both speaks very 
iJainly of the union of ' the people ' with Christ in the 
Eucharist^ and also by saying ' we offer ' seems to allow 
all the faithful a share in the sacrificial work. This 
pai*ticipation of the laity in the act of offering the 
sacrifice is expressed with great clearness in the Roman 
canon of the mass and in the present Anglican service. 

Penitence. — While it was held from the first that 
Baptism was the means of obtaining remission of sins 
committed before conversion, the treatment of sins com- 
mitted after Baptism underwent a gradual change. In 
the apostolic age it was found that some Christians 
might sin so gravely as to lose eternal life (1 John iii. 
15). They might be guilty of crucifying Christ afresh 
(Hebr, vi. 6). While they continued in such sin it was 
impossible ' to renew them again unto repentance ' ; they 
were excommunicated^ and Christians were forbidden to 
eat with them (1 Cor, v. 6, 11). It would even seem 


that after a man was excommunicated the Christians 
hesitated to pray for him. He was regarded as beyond 
the reach of prayer (1 John v. 16). 

Stringent as this discipline was, the truly penitent 
sinner might be received again (2 Cor, ii. 7). Even in 
the case of less serious offences some kind of confession 
of sins was usual. St. James tells his readers to confess 
their sins one to another and pray one for another. In 
the New Testament to ^ confess sins ' does not only mean 
to acknowledge them to God, but to acknowledge them 
openly in the face of men.^ In the Didache xiv. the 
communicants are to confess their sins ^in order that 
your sacrifice may be pure.' St. Clement urges the need 
of confessing transgressions to the divine Master {ad Cor. 
62 ; cf. Bamahas xix.). The author of 2 Clement joins 
confession with repentance, urging that the craftsman 
may reshape a twisted vessel, but that he cannot mend it 
after he has once cast it into the fiery oven. That these 
confessions were sometimes made in public is shown in 
the Didache iv. ; ' In church thou shalt confess thy trans- 
gressions.' Sometimes the confession was made to God 
only, as in Hermas 3 Vis, i. 

It is clearly the purpose of Hermas to aid the Church 
by advising that a sinner should be allowed to be recon- 
ciled with the Church after one relapse, but not after a 
second relapse. It is presupposed that the Church inter- 
venes. About A.D. 260 the penitent first made his con- 
fession privately to the bishop or a presbyter, who took 
care that the discipline enjoined was proportionate to the 
sin. A private confession seems also to be implied at an 
earlier date by TertuUian. From Irenseus {adv, Hasr, i. 
13. 6) and TertuUian we gather that the public discipline 
was accompanied by signs of self-abasement. The peni- 
tents asked the presbyters and martyrs for the prayers of 
the assembled Church. The more scrupulous Christians 
doubted whether the Church ought to grant absolution 
for idolatry, blasphemy, murder, false witness, fraud, 
adultery, fornication, 'and any other violation of the 
temple of God.' In some places, such as Carthage and 
Corinth, absolution was granted to the penitent after one 

* See Westcott on 1 John i. 9. But the word * confess' in 
Biblical Greek is also used for confession to God only. 


relapse iuto such sins. At Rome^ however^ the Church 
appears to have heen more rigid. When Pope Callistus^ 
A.D. 218^ offered to grant absolution to those who repented 
of adultery or fornication^ he was bitterly criticised by 
Hippolytus and TertuUian. The M ontanists^ in particular^ 
regarded absolution for such sins as a shameless condescen- 
sion to human weakness. Callistus and his supporters 
appealed with great fitness to the action of St. Paul at 
Corinth^ to Christ's forgiveness of the adulteress^ and to 
the parable of the prodigal son. Callistus had no in- 
tention of condoning sin^ or even of granting absolution 
twice to the Christian who had fallen into such gross sins. 

About 250 the persecution of the Church by Decius led 
to a new development in the ministry of penitence. 
During the persecution many Christians lapsed^ and the 
question arose whether these lapsi who had denied the 
faith ought to be received back into communion with 
the Church. St. Cyprian^ bishop of Carthage^ is the 
man whose history and genius are most closely connected 
with this controversy. He set his face against (i) the 
rigorist theory that no absolution should be granted for 
apostasy^ and (ii) the lax theory that a repentant apostate 
ought to be admitted again to communion if he received 
a recommendation from a Confessor , i.e. a Christian who 
had conspicuously suffered for the faith. 

In spite of furious opposition Cyprian and the Church 
of Rome succeeded in carrying their pointy and the 
absolution of sins became definitely regulated by means 
of a procedure approved by the bishops. Penitentiary 
presbyters were appointed by the bishops to receive 
confessions and direct the discipline of penitents. In 
the fourth century we find that this discipline corre- 
sponded closely with the discipline imposed on the 
catechumens who were being prepared for baptism. The 
party of Novatian^ which insisted that the Church ought 
not to pardon apostates^ left the Church and organised a 
powerful sect in 251. 

Those modern writers who exaggerate the so-called 
sacerdotalism of Cyprian^ declare that he secured the 
triumph of an unprimitive and unscriptural theory of the 
episcopate and of tiie Church. But Cyprian certainly 


does not attribute more authority to the episcopate than 
that which is attributed to the bishops by Ignatius and 
claimed by St. Paul for himself. It may be urged with 
fairness that to forgive apostasy seems to imply a forget- 
fulness of the truth that baptism means that the Christian 
has for ever dissociated himself from paganism. But the 
same argument holds good with regard to other mortal 
sins. If St. Paul and Callistus were right in allowing a 
Christian who had been guilty of impurity to be restored 
to communion with the Church, then Cyprian was right 
in allowing even an apostate ' a second plank ' on which 
those who had made shipwreck of their lives might be 

The public penance which the Churchr required to be 
performed by those whose sins had been public, became 
rare after the end of the eleventh century^ as it caused 
more scandal than edification. 

It should be observed that the present Roman doctrine 
of Indulgences differs totally from the original conception. 
In the fourth century absolution was occasionally granted 
to a penitent before he had passed through the discipline 
ordinarily required. This was the only indulgence 
granted. But the present practice of the Roman Church 
is to say that inasmuch as the penance or discipline is 
not always enough to make satisfaction for the sin com- 
mitted^ the penitent ought to try, after his sin has been 
forgiven, to gain an Indulgence, i.e, remission of the 
temporal punishment due to sin. Tliese Indulgences are 
granted for certain periods of time, so that the penitent 
who gains an Indulgence of one hundred days is reckoned 
as having endured an equivalent of one hundred days of 
such discipline as was anciently required before absolution 
was granted. Nevertheless, the penitent is required to 
perform the penance imposed upon him, whatever In- 
dulgences he may gain. 

ConflrmatloiL. — Baptism was immediately followed by 
the laying on of hands on the part of the bishop. The 
candidates were also anointed on the head with perfumed 
oil. Both these rites are mentioned by Tertullian about 
A.D. 200. In A.D. 261 Comelins, bishop of Rome, explains 
that this laying on of hands communicates the holy 


Spirit and must follow Baptism. A similar statement is 
made by one of the bishops who acted with Cyprian. 
Until the thirteenth century children were confirmed as 
soon as possible after Baptism. The necessity of baptiz- 
ing by priests in the absence of a bishop led to the present 
custom of the Eastern Churchy in which Confirmation 
consists in the anointing of the child by a priest with oil 
which has been consecrated by the bishop. The ordinary 
Roman Catholic practice for a bishop, when confirming a 
large number of candidates^ merely to extend his hand 
towards them, and not to lay his hand upon them, does not 
appear to have become general until after the Reformation. 

Holy Orders. — In this small book it is impossible to 
make more than the briefest references to sucn a subject 
as the doctrine of the ministry. We may, however, 
observe that the belief that the apostles instituted a 
permanent threefold ministry depends mainly upon a 
belief in the authenticity of the Acts of the Apostles and 
the Epistles to Timothy and Titus, These books make 
it evident that the apostles instituted the order of 
deacons and the order of presbyters, and that above 
these two orders there were officials who were either 
apostles or delegates of the apostles. All the ancient 
Churches of Christendom retain this type of government, 
which is known as Episcopacy, a name derived from the 
Greek word episkopos, or overseer, which was originally 
a title of the presbyters, but was afterwards given to the 
highest order of the clergy. At the present day the 
opponents of Episcopacy are divided among themselves, 
and their theories are even more antagonistic to one 
another than to Episcopacy. They all admit that the 
Episcopal system appears to have been dominant almost 
everywhere about a.d. 170, but hold that at the end of 
the first century the government of the Church was 
either (1) Presbyterian, tlie presbyters forming the highest 
class of officials, or (2) Democratic or Congregational, 
varying according to the pleasure and necessities of the 
various communities. 

The writers who support the Presb)rterian theory have 
^led hitherto to produce one clear case of the presoyters 
ruling a primitive Church. The only two instanees 


which seem to favour their view being (a) the fact that 
St. Polycarp in writing to the Philippians about a.d. 110 
only mentions pre8b3rters and deacons^ and no bishop^ at 
Philippi ; and (6) the fact that St. Jerome, late in the 
fourtn century, states that in early times the presbyters 
of Alexandria ' nominated ' their own bishop. It cannot 
be said with complete certainty that Jerome thought that 
this nomination included ordination, but it is possible 
that he meant this. 

Both these facts are very i^r from conclusive. For to 
say that there was no superior at Philippi above the 
presbyters when Polycarp wrote is very different from 
proving that these presbyters were not under a superior. 
And there are statements in Origen and elsewhere 
which make it very unlikely that Jerome could say with 
accuracy that the bishop of Alexandria derived his com- 
mission from his presbyters. 

The writers who support any Congregational theory 
of the ministry rely mainly upon the variations in the 
names of the ministers of tne Church described in 
different parts of the New Testament. Some deny tliat 
the presb3rters mentioned in the New Testament were 
officials at all. Some, including prominent continental 
Rationalists, find that their theory is quite incompatible 
with the genuineness of Acts and some of St. Paul's 
Epistles, and reject these writings chiefly on this gi'ound. 
So much fresh evidence has recently been produced in 
favour of the genuineness of Acts, and the later Epistles 
attributed to St. Paul show a state of affairs so much in 
harmony with their traditional date, that it is now as 
unreasonable to reject these writings as it is unreason- 
able to reject those of St. Ignatius. Ignatius speaks of 
a threefold ministry in the most distinct terms. While 
mentioning presbyters and deacons, he regards bishops 
as essential in the Church and speaks of them as ^ estab- 
lished in the farthest parts of the earth.' 

To sum up. In Acts we have the apostles above the 
presbyters or episkopoi. In the Epistles to Timothy and 
antus (about A.D. 62-67), in St. Clement a.d. 97, in the 
Didache ferha^9 near the same date^ in St. Ignatius a.d. 
110^ in Hermas about a.d. 140, we find the presbyters are 


always under superior officials who were gradually given 
the title of episkopoi when it seemed unnecessary to use 
this title for the presbyters themselves. We also find 
that in the latter part of the second century Episcopacy 
was firmly established in regions where apostolic tradi- 
tions were most faithfully preserved^ and we have lists of 
the early bishops of Jerusalem^ Rome^ Antioch^ and 
Alexandria^ together with information about bishops in 
Smyrna^ Ephesus^ and Corinth, which go to prove that 
Episcopacy is an apostolic institution. We should finally 
add that ancient writers^ and notably St. Clement^ hold 
fast to the principle of Apostolical Succession. They 
assume that the ministers of the Church recefVe power to 
act as the representatives of man to God and as * stewards 
of God's mysteries ' through the laying-on of hands by 
the apostles.^ 

The nature of some of the functions discharged by 
the clergy has already been indicated in the account of 
Baptism^ Penitence, and the Eucharist. During the 
second century their duties of teaching and preaching 
seem to have been enlarged. This was partly caused 
by the fact that there was a diminution of those ^ pro- 
phets^' whose office, as the name indicates, had been to 
^ tell forth ' the divine message to the first Christians (see 
1 Cor, xiv.). 

Karriage. — ^The teaching of our Lord and His apostles 
raised Marriage to a level entirely different from that 
which it occupied among the Jews and the pagans of the 
Roman Empire. Some Jews married more than one wife, 
and many divorced their wives on the most trivial pre- 
texts. The increase of divorce among the Romans was 
very marked, and the general moral tone among both 
Greeks and Romans was most degraded and unnatural. 
The Church proclaimed that marriage between Chris- 
tians is indissoluble, and is of that sacred character which 
belongs to the union between Christ and His Church. 
This immediately brought Christianity into sharp antago- 
nism both with popular licentiousness and with the 
exaggerated asceticism which was preached by some 

1 9 Tim, i. 6; Acta xiv, S3. 


philosophers and sectaries. The Apologists give us some 
valuable information on this subject^ and show how the 
Church had to denounce not only open vice^ but also the 
conduct of pagans who^ when married^ used iniquitous 
means to avoid the responsibilities caused by marriage. 
The Christians in some quarters viewed a second marriage 
with dislike^ and thus laid upon the laity a restriction 
which seems originally to have only affected the 
clergy.^ The Montanists altogether prohibited second 

Anointing of the Sick. — ^The anointing of the sick by 
the presbyters of the Church is prescribed in St James 
V. 15. ThSre can be no reasonable doubt that this text 
would be considered a sufficient authority for making the 
rite general^ but until the fifth century we have little 
evidence for its use among Catholics^ except in a letter 
written to the Armenians by Macarius^ bishop of Jeru- 
salem^ about A.D. 330. This letter only exists in an 
Armenian translation^ but is probably genuine. IreusBus 
shows us that the Gnostics employed this ceremony as a 
means of assuring the dying of forgiveness, and Origen 
also alludes to their practice. In spite of the fact that 
some of the prayers used at the administration of this 
rite are intercessions for the recovery of the sick person^ 
the habit of postponing its administration until tne hour 
of death has been common in Western Europe. Thus a 
rite which has full scriptural authority has become popu- 
larly perverted into a resemblance of a Gnostic ' mystery.' 
There is every reason why this abuse should be corrected 
by a widespread revival of the primitive custom. In our 
own day this anointing has been restored among Anglicans 
and among the Armenians who are subject to Rome. 

1 1 Tim. iU. 2. 



Aritis. — About a.d. 319 there began in Alexandria a 
struggle which gradually affected the whole Christian 
world. Alexander the bishop was a member of the 
School of Origen and firmly maintained the eternal 
generation of the Son of God — Hhe Son being ever 
present with Him the Father is ever perfect.' There 
never was a time when the Father was not Father. The 
Eternal Son^ so he taught, was mysteriously begotten 
without being created^ and acted as a mediating power 
between the created world and the unbegotten Father. 
Alexander was opposed by Arius^ a popular and ascetic 
presbyter of Alexandria. Arius had been a pupil of 
Lucian of Antioch, and inherited from him his modified 
form of the teaching of Paul of Samosata. He also was 
connected with a school of theologians who accepted 
Origen's teaching about the subordination of the Son to 
the Father, while they disliked his teaching about the 
true eternity of the Son. He himself particularly dis- 
liked any phrases which suggested that the Son was an 
eternal and personal expression of the Father s own life. 
Arius himself taught as follows : — 

1. A father must exist before his son. Therefore the 
Son of God, whom we know as the Word^ did not exist 
eternally with the Father. 

2. The Word, not being eternal^ was created before 
time began^ in order that He might be the instrument of 
God in the creation of the world. 

9. The Word^ being created, is in all things unlike the 



Father^ and He might have Binned. He cannot know the 
Father perfectly. 

4. The body of Christ had no human soul^ the place of 
its soul was taken by the Word. 

In order to support this system of belief, Arius appealed 
to those passages in the Old Testament which assert the 
unity of God^ and to those passages in the New Testa- 
ment which show the dependence of the Son upon the 
Father. We are bound to believe that there must be 
some attraction in Arianism^ because so many people^ 
both in ancient and in modem times^ have found it 
attractive. With some unimportant modifications it was 
accepted in the sixteenth century by Socinus and a large 
number of Protestants on the continent of Europe^ and 
it was accepted more recently by many Presbyterians in 
England and Ireland^ and by many Congregationalists 
in America. Hence the origin of modern Unitarianism. 
The attraction of the theory seems to lie in the fact that 
it does not reject the narrative of the Gospels^ and at 
the same time avoids those difficulties which are occa- 
sioned by the idea of a threefold life within the divine 

Nevertheless^ Arius violated a fundamental principle 
of the Monotheism which he professed to defend, llie 
Catholics accused the Arians of polytheism^ and they 
were perfectly right. For the Arians denied that the 
Son was God in any real sense of the word^ and yet they 
continued to worship Him. Moreover^ the Arians in 
their devotion to logical syllogisms neglected an obvious 
truth. They argued that the Father must be older than 
the Son because they knew that a human father is always 
older than his son. But they forgot that we call a man 
the son of his father^ not because he is younger than his 
father^ but because he has derived his life from his father. 
The whole of the Christian idea of God and of redemp- 
tion disappears in the Arian system. We are left with 
an u]iknown God^ who teaches us through a demigod who 
is neither human nor divine. 

The Council of Nic»a. — ^The religious policy of the 
Emperor Constantino differed as widely from the modern 
notion of toleration as it differed from the old Roman 


policy of persecution. Constantino was at heart a be- 
liever in Christianity^ but he remained the official head 
of Roman paganism. He supported the pagan religion 
of Rome and supported the Christian Churchy allowing 
the world to see that he had a personal preference for 
the latter. He had no wish to support or countenance 
various forms of Christianity^ and as soon as the contest 
between Arius and Alexander became serious he endea- 
voured to quiet the combatants with platitudes which 
were as ill timed as they were well meant. Finding that 
neither party was content to regard so important a ques- 
tion as a mere matter of dialectics^ he summoned the 
bishops of the Church to meet at Nicsea in a.d. 825. 
The Council ended in a quick defeat of the Arian party 
and the adoption of a creed which was intended to 
exclude the possibility of Arianism ever finding an 
entrance into the Church again. The creed was that 
already in use at Csesarea^ to which the Council added 
several si^ificant phrases.^ 

We beueve in one God the Father Almighty, Maker 
of all things visible and invisible. 

And in one Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God, be- 
gotten of the Father, only-begotten that is of the sub- 
stance of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, very 
God of very God, begotten not made, of one substance (homo- 
ousios) with the Father, by whom all things were made, 
both the things in heaven and the things on earth ; who for 
us men and for our salvation came down and was incarnate, 
and suffered and rose on the third day, ascended into 
heaven and cometh to judge the living and dead. 

And in the Holy Ghost 

But those who say that there was a time when He was 
not, and that be/ore He was begotten He was not, and that 
He was made out of what did not exist, or assert that He 
is of a different hypostasis or substance, or that the Son 
of God is created or capable of change or alteration, the 
Catholic Church anathematises. 

Among the most determined opponents of Arius was 
Atbanasius, a deacon of Alexandria. He had written a 

^ Tbeae additional phrases are here printed in italics. 


treatise On the Incarnation before the outbreak of the 
controversy. It is a wonderful production for so young 
a man. It is an inquiry into the reason of the incar- 
nation^ followed by a defence of Christianity against 
Judaism and paganism. In spirit it bears a consider- 
able resemblance to the theology of Ignatius^ Irenseus^ 
and St. John. ^He became man^ in order that we 
might become divine ; and He manifested himself 
through a body, in order that we might gain a con- 
ception of the unseen Father^' and^ ^He takes a body 
capable of death in order that it, having been made to 
participate in the Word who is above all, might be iit 
to die instead of all^ and through the indwelling Word 
might remain incorruptible, and that for the future 
corruption should cease from all by the grace of the 
resurrection.* The leading idea of the treatise is that 
man is restored to virtue and immortality through the 
work which Christ has done and the power which Christ 
bestows. The whole argument assumes that Christ is 
God indeed, and this conviction runs through all the 
writings of Athanasius. On the death of Alexander in 328 
Athanasius became bishop of Alexandria, and was hence- 
forth the pillar of Catholicism until his death in 373. 

The Eusebians. — ^The Catholic victory at Nicaea was bidl- 
liant, but in one sense superficial. While it was destined 
to have an effect hardly inferior to the effect of the Council 
at Jerusalem in a.d. 49, it was encountered by a mass of 
sullen opposition. The leader of this opposition was 
Bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia. Trained in the school of 
Lucian of Antioch, he was a convinced Arian and a 
clever schemer. He hesitated to attack the Nicene 
Creed, but he rallied round him a great party of mal- 
contents who were united by their dislike of the creed. 
They hoped to depose one Catholic bishop after another, 
and then secure the adhesion of the Church to another 
formula. Constantino was turned by the learned Eosebius 
of Cssarea, who stood half way between Athanasius and 
Arius, and in a short time ten Catholic leaders were 

The Eusebians were given an opportunity by Marcellus 
pf Ancyra^ one of the warmest supporters of the Nicen^ 


Creed. Marcellus endeavoured to beat the Arians on 
their own ground^ with the result that he fell into 
Sabellianism and furnished the Eusebians with a power- 
ful argument against the loyalty of the Niceue party. 
He agreed with the Arians that the idea of sonship 
implies beginning and inferiority^ so that the Son of 
God cannot be the equal of His Father. The Arians 
argued that this proved that the Son is only a creature. 
Marcellus denied their conclusion^ and turned to Scrip- 
ture. St. John had said, 'In the beginning was the 
Word/ and had asserted the true Divinity of this Word 
who became the Son of Man. Therefore^ said Marcellus^ 
the Word was always divine. He was a silent thinking 
principle in the Father's miud^ then He became an 
' active energy ' in order to create the universe^ finally 
God ^ expanded ' into a Trinity^ the Word took flesh and 
became a distinct person. Only when He took flesh did 
He become the Son of God and the Image of God. After 
the work of redemption is finished the Son will lay aside 
His human nature and deliver up the Kingdom to the 
Father, and the Trinity will ^contract' once more into 
one person. It is plain that this teaching was Mon- 
archianism of a Sabellian type with some additional 
refinements resembling the distinction between the ^ im- 
manent ' Word and the ^ uttered ' Word in Theophilus 
of Antioch. A pupil of Marcellus^ named Photinus, ex- 
changed this Monarchianism for a theory which closely 
resembled the doctrine of Paul of Samosata, and was 
singled out by the Eusebians for their special detestation. 
In 336 Arius died, in 337 Constantine. The West 
was strictly Catholic, but in the East the Eusebians 
were masters of the situation. In the summer of 341 
the retrograde character of their doctrine was clearly 
shown at the Council which assembled for the dedica- 
tion of the cathedral church of Antioch. Three creeds 
were put out, the second of which is said to have been 
composed by the martyr Lucian. This ^Luciauic' or 
Dedication Creed is orthodox in phraseology, but is so 
worded as to leave Arianism possible. It asserts the 
exact likeness of the Son to the Father, omits the word 
ffomo-ousioSf and says that the three persons of th§ 


Trinity are ' three in substance (hypostasis) but in agree- 
ment one.' After the Council was over^ a few bi^ops 
reassembled and drew up a creed to present to Constans^ 
the emperor of the West. The Nicene anathemas were 
ingeniously altered so as to strike at Marcellus and 
sanction an Arian doctrine of the divine Sonship. This 
creed became the basis on which the subsequent Arian- 
ising confessions of 343 (Philippopolis)^ 341 (the Macro- 
stich creed of Antioch)^and 351 (Sirmium)^ were fashioned. 
This multiplicity of creeds shows that the opponents of the 
Nicene Creed included conflicting parties^ although the 
creeds do not conflict openly with one another. The 
mildly reactionary party wished to go behind the Nicene 
Creed because they feared Sabellianism and saw that the 
Roman Church which favoured that creed had accepted 
the explanations which Marcellus gave concerning his 
own doctrine. The strongly reactionary party, who were 
genuine Arians, took advantage of this feeling, and the 
result was that the new creeds, as a whole, only half 
condemned Arianism, while they tacitly set aside the 
Nicene formula and violently attacked Marcellus. 

The Ancmoeans. — Gradually the two streams of tendency 
which had been combined in the Eusebian party began to 
divide. It became more evident that some members of 
this party were influenced by Origen while others were 
the descendants of Paul of Samosata. They were only 
united by a negation and veiled their difference under 
evasive statements. But after 361 there arose a party 
of uncompromising Arians who were determined to teach 
the Arian system in all its bearings. This was the party 
called Anomoean, and it taught the complete dissimilarity 
of the Father and the Son. The leaders of the party 
were Aetlus and EtmominB. They declared that the 
essence of the Son was to be found in the fact that 
He was begotten — by which word they really meant 
created, llie essence of the Father was to be found 
in the fact that He was unbegotten. It will be seen at 
once that this theory represents God as a blank abstraction, 
and directly repudiates the teaching of Christ, ' He that 
hath seen me hath seen the Father.' The central facts 
of Christianity are so completely repudiated that God 


becomes the vague^ shadowy Being described in later 
Greek philosophy. Eunomius gave a finishing touch to 
the Anomoean faith by maintaining that since the essence 
of God is so perfectly simple^ we can understand God as 
well as God understands himself. 

A formula was drawn up in 367 at the third Council 
of Sirmium. It does not openly call the Son ' unlike ' 
the Father^ but it does not use the word ^like/ and it 
actually forbids the assertion that there is an essential 
likeness between the Father and the Son. ^The question 
which used to agitate some or many concerning substance^ 
which in Greek is called ousia, that is^ to explain the 
matter more expressly, the word homo-otmos, or what is 
called homoi-ousios, ought not to be mentioned, nor ought 
any one to preach it, for the reason that it is not contained 
in the divine Scriptures, and that it is above the knowledge 
of man.' The creed suggests that the Son was created 
by insisting upon His subjection to the Father, ^ along 
with all things subjected to Him by the Father.' The 
Father is said to be ' greater in Godhead ' than the Son. 

This creed, which has been known through all Church 
history as the Blasphemy, was the greatest blunder in 
the annals of Arianism. It immediately alienated the 
moderate party, of which the numerical strength of the 
non-Catholics had been composed. The religious men 
who really feared Sabellianism, but had never intended 
to support Arianism for its own sake, saw that they must 
dissociate themselves from the Arians. In 358 they met 
at Ancyra under the leadership of Basil of Ancyra, a 
man of high character. Cyril of Jerusalem, Eustathius 
of Sebastia, Mark of Arethusa, Meletius of Antioch, 
and other influential bishops were in sympathy with 
Basil. The statement which was drawn up at Ancyra 
consolidated this party, which is known as Semi-Arian 
and may with equal truth be called Semi-Nicene. They 
were determined that the divine Sonship of Christ should 
not be represented as a merely titular dignity. And 
therefore while they repudiated the term Homo-ausioa, 
they declared that * every father is understood to be 
father of a substance (ousia) like his own.' The Son is 
^Uke in subBtance, perfect of perfect.' The divine 


substance is ^ life/ and this is g-iven by the Father to the 
Son, so the Son was not merely begotten by the ' power ' 
of the Father, which would really imply that He was 
only created, but ^by the power and substance alike.' 
The confession of this divine Fatherhood in God is 
asserted to be the distinguishing mark which separates 
the Church from the Jew and the heathen, who only 
know God as Creator. 

It is evident that the Semi-Arians who met at Ancyra 
had conceded almost everything that the Catholics 
desired. Nothing but a nominal breakwater now stood 
between them and the rising conviction that the Nicene 
Creed was scriptural. They had admitted the fact of the 
divine Sonship, they were only repudiating the use of a 
word which, though they did not see it, was the only word 
which did justice to that fact In less than ten years 
numbers of them had accepted the faith in its fulness. 

The LatJtadlnarlanB. — I'horough Arianism was now 
hopelessly discredited. It had failed to get more than 
a precarious foothold in the empire. The Catholic 
party had not entirely convinced the Semi-Nicene 
bishops, although St. Hilary of Poictiers in his masterly 
treatise De Synodis sen de fide Orientalium, probably 
written in 368, had done his best. He proved that 
the word Homoi-ousioSy ^of like substance,' ought to 
imply the consubstantiality of the Son and the Father. 
But it was still possible to maintain that no formula had 
proved satisfactory, and to suggest a new scheme. If 
we cannot say of one substance, nor of like substance, 
nor yet unlike, the only course open is to say like, and 
forbid any further deiinition. To have a broad, elastic 
phrase and to persecute every bishop who preferred an 
unambiguous statement of his faith, was the policy of 
the Latitudinarians or HomceanB (from homoios like). 

This party was led by Acacius in the East and by 
Valens in the West. These two bishops appear to have 
been among the most unscrupulous men of the period. 
Videns was at heart an Anomcean. But he was clever 
enough to see that he could only accomplish his purpose 
by making use of less extreme men than himself. He 
was willing to pose as a Homcean in order to win a body 


of adherents strong enough to annihilate the Nicene 
Creed. The Blasphemy of 357 had been his work^ and it 
had the full approval of Acacius^ who was a court bishop 
willing to accept any creed which he thought would 
receive the support of the State. After the Council of 
Ancyra in 858 Valens saw a new opportunity. All 
ecclesiastical parties were excited and dissatisfied^ and 
he therefore suggested to the Emperor Constantius the 
idea of a general Council. He also suggested that it 
should be divided into two parts. Half was to meet 
at Ariminum, where Valens would be present in person. 
The other half was to meet at Seleucia in Cilicia 
under the management of Acacius. It was agreed 
that these two synods should accept a Homoean 
creed which was composed beforehand. The result was 
the Dated Creed of May 22^ 359. It prohibits the 
word ousia, and asserts that the Son is like in all 
things to the Father. Valens and his friend Urs^ius 
endeavoured to suppress the words in all things, but the 
Emperor Constantius insisted that the words should be 
retained. Basil of Ancyra and George of Laodicea were 
both weak enough to sign the creed^ and felt it so 
necessary to explain their conduct that they drew up 
a memorandum of a Semi-Nicene character. In this 
memorandum they insisted on the essential likeness of 
the Son and the Father^ and repudiated the Anomoean 
doctrine that the nature of God is adequately expressed 
by the statement that he is unbegotten. 

The two synods of Ariminum and Seleucia were com- 
pletely outwitted by the Homoeans, although the majority 
of bishops at Ariminum was Catholic and at Seleucia 
was Semi-Arian. The majority at Ariminum rejected 
the Dated Creed^ and the majority at Seleucia rejected 
another form of the same creed. From both synods 
went deputations to the emperor. He detained the 
deputies from Ariminum at Hadrianople and then at 
Nice in Thrace, where they were induced to sign a dis- 
tinctly Homoean creed. Valens returned to Ariminum 
with this creed, and by a series of lies and evasions 
induced the simple Catholic Western bishops to sign it. 
He then hurried to Constantinople, where he met the 


Semi-Arian deputies from Seleucia. He and Acacius 
invoked the help of the emperor^ and induced the Semi- 
Arians to yield, partly by holding over them the threats 
of the emperor, partly by declaring that they repudiated 
the word unlike. The Semi-Arians yielded on New Year s 
Eve, 359-360. In January 860 a Council was held at 
Constantinople, and the creed of Nice was reissued with- 
out the anathemas against Anomoean doctrine which had 
been appended at Ariminum. The Latitudinarian party 
was now supreme. They persecuted Catholics and Semi- 
Arians alike, and while they sacrificed the Anomoean 
Aetius to the Homoean scruples of the emperor, they 
permitted the appointment of several Anomceans to vacant 
episcopal sees. The Catholic cause appeared absolutely 
hopeless when it was saved from annihilation by the 
death of Constantius in 861. 

The Catholic BeviYal. — Constantius was succeeded by 
Julian, a dilettante pagan, who had been brought up on 
Arian principles, and hoped that the conflicting Christian 
parties would destroy each other. He recalled the 
Christian bishops who had been banished from their sees, 
with the result that Athanasius was able to exercise his 
potent influence once more. Julian also persecuted and 
annoyed the Christians just enough to make them more 
inclined to close their ranks. The Council held under 
Athanasius at Alexandria in 362 proved that the Chris- 
tians were neither as ignorant nor as narrow-minded as 
Julian hoped. 

The Council dealt with three doctrinal points. (1) The 
terms on which communion should be granted to those 
Arians who desired to be admitted into the Church. It 
was decided that they should only be required to accept 
the Nicene Creed and to anathematise Arianism, including 
the doctrine that the Holy Spirit is a creature. It is 
evident that Arianism was now sacrificing the Deity of 
the Holy Spirit to a false idea of the unity of God 
as it had previously sacrified the Deity of the Son. 
(2) The integrity of Christ's human nature. It was 
asserted that the Son took not only a true human body 
but also a true human soul. This assertion was pro- 
bably directed against Arianism, but it was soon to derive 


new importance from the heresy of Apollinaris (see 
chap. yiii.). (3) An old misunderstanding as to some 
theological phrases. In the anathemas appended to the 
Nicene Creed^ the word hypostasis had been used as an 
equivalent to the word ousia, substance. The Latins 
used the word substantia to represent both these words. 
On the other hand^ most of the Eastern bishops used the 
word hypostasis in the sense of subject or person. It was 
therefore natural that those who spoke of one hypostasis 
should regard the phrase ' three hypostaseis ' as pagan 
or Arian^ while those who spoke of three hypostaseis 
should regard the phrase ' one hypostasis ' as Sabellian. 
The contradiction was only yerbai^ and the two parties 
came to a complete understanding. All agreed that 
it was better to use the language of the Nicene Creed 
than either of these conflicting phrases. 

Owing to the influence of the writings of the three 
great Cappadocian fathers — Basil of Csesarea^ Gregory of 
N}rssa^ and Gregory of Nazianzus — ^the phrase^ ^ one ousia^ 
three hypostaseis^ became and remained the ordinary 
formula of Catholic Christians. This is further explained 
by the following words of Gregory of Nyssa : ' One and 
the same person of the Father^ of whom the Son is be- 
gotten and the Spirit . . . proceeds.' The Cappadocian 
Fathers were warm admirers of Origen, and it is partly to 
him that the habit of speaking of more than one hypo- 
stasis in the Godhead is to be traced. 

The Council of Constantinople. — The final establishment 
of the Nicene faith throughout the empire took place in 
881^ when a Council was held at Constantinople at the 
command of the Emperor Theodosius the Great. This 
Council was not intended to be a General Council of the 
Churchy but it received universal consent^ and therefore 
has always been reckoned as the Second General Council 
of the Church. The Council ratified the Nicene Creed. 
The Council also appears to have expressed approv^ of 
another creed without intending that it should be 
publicly employed. This second creed was the baptismal 
creed of Jenualem^ into which some phrases of the mcene 
Creed had been wisely inserted by Cyril, Bishop of 
Jerusalem. It states that the Son is ^ of one substance ' 


with the Father^ But omits the words^ ' That is of the sub- 
stance of the Father.* It adds the words, ' Whose kingdom 
shall have no end.' After the words, ^And in the Holy 
Ghost/ it goes on, ^The Lord, the Giver of life, who 
proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and 
the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spake 
by the Prophets. And one Holy Catholic and Apostolic 
Church. We acknowledge one Baptism for the remis- 
sion of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the 
dead, and the life of the world to come.' 

This Jerusalem Creed has had a strange history. The 
approval which it received at Constantinople caused it 
to be known as the Creed of Constantinople. And after 
the Council of Chalcedon in 461 placed it side by side 
with the Nieene Creed it gradually began to take the 
place of the real Nieene Creed. It can only be called 
Nieene in the sense that it has incorporated the heart of 
the Nieene Creed. 

The Council of Constantinople also condemned the 
Semi-Arian Pneumatomachi or * Opponents of the Spirit,' ^ 
who made a point of denying the Divinity of the Holy 
Ghost, and the ApoUinarians, whose heresy is described 
in our next chapter. 

1 Also known as Macedonians, after Macedonius, the Semi- 
Arian bishop of Oonstantinople. 




Atbanasiiu. — Throughout the controversy with Arian- 
ism^ Athanasius and the Catholics were mainly concerned 
with asserting the fact of the incarnation and the con- 
sequent truth of the doctrines of the atonement and 
of the Trinity. The manner of the union between 
the divine and the human natures in Christ was not 
minutely discussed. Nevertheless^ the Arians raised the 
question whether Christ is truly human no less than the 
question whether Christ is truly divine. They taught 
tiiat Christ was destitute of a human spirit^ the place of 
a spirit having been taken by the half-divine Word. 
They therefore excluded from the Saviour's life all possi- 
bility of true human experience. Now^ we might have 
feared that Athanasius^ in asserting the true Divinity of 
the Son^ would forget the real meaning of the Gospel 
narratives and give only a Docetic explanation of Christ's 
8u£Fering8 and humiliations. This^ however^ was far 
from being the case. He insisted very plainly upon the 
truth that Christ's manhood was real. Two points 
especially deserve attention : — 

(1) With regard to the human knowledge of Chriet, 
The Arians declared that the texts^ Mark xiii. 32 and 
Luke ii. 62, proved that the Word when He became 
Incarnate was ignorant of certain divine truths. They 
said that the mind which the Word brx>ught with Him 
from heaven was not omniscient^ and was tiherefore able 
to advance in knowledge. The argument of Athanasius 
in opposing this theory is that omniscience belongs to 



the Godhead of the Word^ but that the human mind 
which the Word took was limited. It was able to grow 
just as truly as the human stature of Christ was able to 
grow. He appeals to the passages in Scripture which show 
that our Lord possessed a knowledge transcending human 
limitations^ and he declares that Christ manifested a 
divine knowledge. At the same time he asserts that 
our Lord could as Man be ignorant of what He knew 
as Grod. It was ^ for our profit ' that Christ during His 
life on earth willed to be limited in respect of His human 
nature. Athanasius here^ as elsewhere^ keeps strictly 
to Scripture. He avoids (a) the exaggerated theory 
which was common in the Middle Ages^ and has been 
still further exaggerated in Jesuit theology — the theory 
that Christ's human ignorance was simply lack of actual 
human experience. Athanasius equally avoids (b) the 
theory which has become popular among modem Protes- 
tants — the theory that the divine mind of the Son of God 
became diminished and ignorant when He became incarnate. 
(2) With regard to the consuhstantiality of Jesus Christ 
with man. In 871^ two years before his deaths Athanasius 
wrote a Letter to Epictetus. In this letter he carefully 
criticises the theory that the body of Christ was unreal 
or identical in nature with His Divinity. He declares 
that the Saviour in very truth became Man^ and that the 
incorporeal Word was in a passible body. 'That which 
was bom of Mary was according to the divine Scriptures 
human by nature^ and the body of the Lord was a true 
one ; but it was this because it was the same as our body^ 
for Mary was our sister inasmuch as we are all from 
Adam.' His human nature was really bom of Mary^ 
really nourished at her breast^ it was weary and was 
smitten and was crucified and was handled by Thomas. 
Athanasius is here dealing with two classes of writers : 
(a) some who believed that the Word was actually tran- 
substantiated into human flesh; (6) some who thought 
that the flesh of Christ was not natural but of a divine 
essence, so that it might have existed without Mary. 
A heresy which had much in common with these two 
kindred theories was soon afterwards rapidly propagated 
by the Apollinarians. 


ApollinariB. — Apollinaris and his father were excom- 
municated hy the Semi-Arian George of Laodicea. They 
supported Athanasius and the Nicene faith. In 362^ 
Apollinaris was made hishop of Laodicea. Jerome 
studied with him in 374. Soon afterwards his teaching 
caused great anxiety to the orthodox^ and it was con- 
demned at Rome^ Antioch^ and Constantinople. Apol- 
linaris was a man of penetrating mind^ well acquainted 
with Greek literature^ and a voluminous writer. His 
followers became an organised sect^ with bishops^ 
churches^ and ceremonies of their own. They exercised 
a deplorable influence by circulating writings of Apol- 
linaris under the names of Gregory Thaumaturgus and 
Athanasius. It is from these works that we gain a know- 
ledge of the opinions of Apollinaris, but our knowledge of 
them is extended by the statements of Gregory of Nyssa, 
Gregory of Nazianzus^ and a treatise Against the ApoUin- 
avians which has been popularly attributed to Athanasius. 

1. Apollinaris wished to secure the infallibility and 
the sinlessness of Christ Like Marcellus^ he wished 
to present the world with a theory which would render 
Arianism an impossibility. Like Marcellus^ he made the 
mistake of accepting a fundamental tenet of the men 
whom he intended to oppose. The Arians said that the 
body of Christ was truly human, but that He had no 
human spirit, the place of this spirit having been taken 
by the Word. Apollinaris admitted this, with the 
difference that he declared the Word to be essentially 
divine and not half divine. He declared that Jesus 
Christ comprised within himself three elements — human 
flesh, a fleshly soul, i.e, physical human life, and the 
divine Word. Christ had no human nous or rational 
soul, and therefore He could not err or sin. 

2. The result was summed up in the phrase, ' We 
confess that there is one nature of God the Word which was 
incarnate.* God and flesh made one nature, the flesh 
was divine because joined with God ; there was only 
one energy in Christ, and therefore only one substance. 
The body of Christ was only a passive instrument of 
His Divinity. The Catholic Christ was denounced by 
Apollinaris as a hybrid being like a Minotaur. 


The clearness and the ingenuity with which ApoUinaris 
expounded his theory rendered opposition exceedingly 
difficult. But his Catholic opponents saw that a Christ 
who had not taken the most essential and distinctive 
element in man was not really Man at all. However 
much Apollinaris might have desired to take a reverent 
view of Christ, he had really conceived of Him as only 
taking those characteristics which man shares with the 
lower creatures. A man without a spiritual intelligence 
is not a man hut an animal. Therefore the Apollinarian 
Christ is not a real Redeemer. Gregory of Nazianzus 
appropriately says ^that which was not taken was not 
healed.' The Apollinarian Christ could experience no 
real mental trial or temptation^ and therefore He is not 
a Saviour. 

Apollinaris tried to meet this difficulty hy teaching 
that the Word was the pre-existent heavenly man^ and 
that it could therefore take the place of Christ's reason 
and spirit without making Christ unhuman. It seems 
that some of his followers taught that the flesh of Christ 
existed hefore the incarnation^ but Apollinaris probably 
only meant that there was eternally in God an element 
peculiarly fitted to show itself in a human life. If so, 
Apollinaris was near an important truth. But he made 
it of no effect by teaching that the reason of man is 
necessarily prone to sin. Instead of teaching that the 
human will needs union with the divine will in order to 
realise its own true power and freedom, his teaching 
implied that the human will and rational soul inevitably 
tend to evil. Therefore he said that Christ must have 
no human will and no rational soul. The statement of 
the Athanasian Creed that Christ has a rational soul as 
well as human flesh is a standing record of the fact 
that the Church repudiated Apollinaris. 

Theodore of Mopsuestia. — This celebrated writer became 
bishop of Mopsuestia in Cilicia in 392, very soon afler 
the death of Apollinaris. He wrote many commentaries 
on the Bible, an account of Zoroastrianism, and a great 
treatise On the Incarnation against the Apollinarians and 
Anomoeans. He had been ordained priest at Antioch, and 
his theology shows a strong dislike of tiie iJlegorical 


method of interpreting Scripture which Origen had done 
so much to popularise at Alexandria. This fact has caused 
modern writers to exaggerate the difference between 
the theological tone of Alexandria and of Antioch^ and 
to represent the theology of Antioch as entirely practical^ 
and that of Alexandria as entirely mystical. A diiference 
did exists and it was increased by the national jealousies 
of the two great cities. But though Alexandria was the 
home of the mystical Origen^ it was also the home of 
the practical Athanasius; and Antioch^ which was the 
home of the questionable Theodore^ was also the home 
of the orthodox John Chrysostom. 

Theodore firmly believed in the Nicene Creed, but he 
was out of sympathy with its spirit. His doctrine of the 
person of Christ does not really start out from the idea 
of One who is God of God from eternity and then was 
made man. Nor, on the other hand, does the doctrine 
of Theodore start out from that moral appreciation of 
the historical life of Christ which will cause a man to 
inquire what Christ really is. Theodore, like Paul of 
Samosata, mentally separated the humanity and the 
Divinity of Christ, kept them both before his mind's eye, 
and then endeavoured to combine them. This is plainly 
shown by his own language. Christ is regarded as such 
a man that His human nature is a distinct person. With 
this man the Word united himself by a progressive 
^connection,' similar to the connection which exists 
between God and the saints, who are God's adopted 
children. Theodore says that we can say that Christ is 
one person. But this is only a manner of speech made 
more or less legitimate by the ' connection.' 

Diodore, the teacher of Theodore, held the same 
doctrine, and taught that there were in Christ both the 
divine Son of God and the human Son of David, and 
that the human person was adorable on account of the 
divine person who dwelt in it. 

In fact, these writers believed that Christ was not one 
agent, but two. Consistently with this idea, Theodore 
held that it was possible for Him to have sinned. The 
human Christy who was the associate of the Word, might 
have yielded to temptation, although, as a matter of 


fact. He did not. At the Fifth General Council of the 
Church, held at Constantinople in 658, Theodore was 
anathematised for teaching that Christ had been troubled 
by desires of the flesh, and had gradually become 
separated from what was evil. That is, he was anathe- 
matised for teaching that Christ was subject to the 
solicitations of evil not merely from without, but also 
from within. Such a theory is not an innocent specula- 
tion. It aims at the heart of Christian doctrine. It 
says with one breath that Christ was God, and that He 
could nevertheless have wished to be the enemy of 

Against the teaching of Theodore and all similar 
opinions the Church has always maintained that our 
Lord is one agent, and that His human nature had no 
existence whatever until the Son of God created it for ^ 

himself. ' Although He be God and Man, yet He is not 
two, but one Christ'; and, ^As the rational soul and the 
flesh are one man, so God and Man is one Christ.' This 
illustration of the Athanasian Creed cannot be pressed 
without danger, it does not show us a complete parallel. 
It reminds us that Christ is one, and that as the person- 
ality of man remains in his soul after death has separated 
his soul from his body, so the person of Christ truly 
existed before He took a body. On the other hand, this 
illustration is not intended to suggest that Christ had 
only one imlL The Church had already maintained 
against Apollinaris that the manhood of Christ was 
complete, and had a truly human will as well as that 
divine will which He possessed from all eternity. 

NestoriUB.— The full meaning of the doctrine of Theo- 
dore was understood when it was taught in a popular 
form by Nestorius, a priest of Antioch who was bishop of 
Constantinople in 428. He became the founder of a 
large and active community which propagated Chris- 
tianity through many parts of Asia, extending its 
missions into China. Since the rise of Islam, the 
Nestorian Christians have suffered severely from 
Muhammadan persecutions. They are now mainly re- 
presented by the 'Assyrian' Christians on the borders 
of Turkey and Persia, most of whom have in modem 


times placed themselves in connection with the Roman^ 
Anglican^ or Russian Churches respectively. 

A presbyter of Nestorius^ named Anastasius^ preached 
a sermon in the cathedral church of Constantinople^ in 
which he attacked the use of the word Theotokos or Mother 
of God, a title which had been applied to the mother of 
Christ since the days of Origen. Nestorius supported 
his presbyter^ and the whole Christian Church became 
involved in the controversy. Cjrril, archbishop of Alex- 
andria^ a man of scholarly mind but imperious temper^ 
wrote to Nestorius and protested. The two prelates uien 
both appealed to Celestine^ bishop of Rome. Celestine 
supported Cyril^ and Cyril in 430 held a Synod at Alex- 
andria which declared Nestorius to be a heretic. At the 
same time he published twelve anathemas condemning 
the teaching of Nestorius. These anathemas were 
joined to his third letter to Nestorius. 

Nestorius published twelve counter-anathemas^ and^ 
thanks to the &vour which he enjoyed with the emperor^ 
he obtained the convocation of a General Council. The 
Council met at Ephesus in 431^ and Cyril opened the 
sessions without waiting for the arrival of John^ bishop 
of Antioch^ the most influential clerical supporter of 
Nestorius. The Council affirmed anew the creed of 
Nicsea and condemned Nestorius. John was most 
indignant when he arrived and learned what had 
happened. He held an opposing Council and excom- 
municated Cyril. The emperor first ratified both the 
sentence pronounced a^ain^ Cyril and that pronounced 
against Nestorius. He was afterwards persuaded to 
restore Cyril, and in 433 John of Antioch and Cyril came 
to an agreement, probably through the efforts of 
Theodoret, a learned and temperate bishop of the Anti- 
ochene school. 

Nestorins Justly condemned.— There are good reasons 
for believing that Nestorius was somewhat ignorant of 
the real point at issue between himself and Cyril, and 
it is to be regretted that Cyril did not act with greater 
consideration. But the whole course of action taken by 
Nestorius shows that his condemnation was necessary. 
In his sermons he says : ' A creature did not bear the 


Creator . . . but bore a man who was the instrument of 
the Godhead^' and^ ^ I divide the natures^ but I unite the 
veneration/ The meaning of these statements is made 
clearer by his s&ying, * I will never call a child two or 
three months old God.' Nestorius did not really believe 
in the incarnation of the Son of God but in the exaltation 
of a man. He believed that there was an increasing 
connection between Jesus and the Son of God^ which 
became so close that they might be regarded as one 
person and worshipped as one person. He thought that 
Jesus Christ was God and a man^ not the God-Man. 
Nestorianism is a new Adoptionism. 

For Nestorius did not really believe that the experi- 
ences and humiliations of Jesus Christ were the experi- 
ences and humiliations of the divine Word, otherwise 
he would not have repudiated the phrase^ Mother of God, 
This phrase was intended by the Church to guard the 
honour of the Son rather than increase the honour of 
the mother. It means that the Child of Mary is himself 
divine and not a man with whom God condescended to 

St. Cyril of Alexandria.— Cyril had a true insight into 
the teaching of Nestorius and into the consequences 
which were involved in it. His own theology was 
essentially the same as that of Athanasius. He asserts 
that the two natures of Christ came together without con- 
fusion and without change. The Christian acknowledges 
'one single Christ, the Word who is from God the 
Father, and has His own flesh.' The union between the 
two natures is personal or hypostatic, or ^ natural,* i.e. 
the manhood of Christ did not destroy the unity of His 
person. Cyril expressly rejects the idea that the union 
between the two natures is a 'connection* or 'juxta 
position* or 'relative participation' according to which 
Christ would be only a man in whom the divine Word 
acted. The Christian's worship of Christ is therefore not 
the 'co-adoration' of a man side by side with God, It 
is offered to Emmanuel 'God with us.' The flesh of the 
Lord is life-giving because it is the Word's own flesh, 
not the flesh of a man connected with the Word. Against 
the Nestorian doctrine Cyril urges the teaching of St* 

ST. CYRIL 107 

Paul in Phil. ii. 6, 7. He maintains that Christ in 
becoming incarnate submitted to a ^voluntary self- 
emptying^' and it would not have been a real self- 
emptying if the humiliations of Jesus had not been 
the humiliations of the Word. 

While Cyril did his utmost to defend the faith as it 
had been taught by St. John and St. Paul^ his language 
was sometimes lacking in precision. (1) He declares 
that he believes in ^ one nature of God the Word which 
was incarnate.' This phrase had been used by ApoUi- 
naris^ and as the Apollinarians circulated writings of 
their master under the name of Athanasius^ it is probable 
that Cyril believed that the phrase was really coined by 
Athanasius. Cyril in one place explains that he uses 
the word ^ nature ' in the sense of hypostasis or person. 
But he unfortunately uses the word elsewhere in its 
ordinary sense. It was thus possible for his readers to 
suppose that after the incarnation the human nature 
became swallowed up in the divine nature. The phrase^ 
^one nature^' was destined to become before long the 
shibboleth of a party as mischievous as the party of 
Nestorius. (2) He strongly asserts that the human mind 
of Christ was not omniscient^ and in this he is following 
the teaching of Athanasius. But he more than once uses 
words which suggest that the human ignorance of Christ 
was feigned. Here again Cyril explains himself; he 
means that the Son of God was not limited in such a 
way that His divine mind became idle or imperfect 
during His life on earth. He also means that the 
Divinity of Christ restrained its influence upon His human 
mind^ and that Christ appeared to be wholly ignorant 
of what His divine mind really knew. In the same way 
a good teacher frequently appears not to know what he 
really does know. He consciously accommodates both 
his language and his thoughts to the language and 
thoughts of children^ while he still retains and uses his 
own superior knowledge. It is to be regretted that Cyril 
spoke with some ambiguity on this subject^ so that 
Theodoret and many modem writers have accused him 
of representing Christ as saying what was untrue. 

Eutyches. — Recoil from Nestorianism led to the oppo- 


site opinion that there was only a single nature in Christ. 
This doctrine found a champion in Eutyches^ abbot of 
a monastery at Constantinople^ who first became pro- 
minent in 448. Like Nestorius he wished to be logical 
and consistent The Nestorians said that Jesus Christ 
was Man and was God ; He was therefore two persons. 
Eutyches and his followers said that Jesus Christ was only 
one person; He could therefore only have one nature. 
Eutyches regarded the human nature of Christ as swal- 
lowed and lost in the glories of the divine nature with 
which it was united. When he was accused before a 
synod held at Constantinople^ he confessed his faith in 
these words : ^ I confess that our Lord was of two 
natures before the union^ but after the union I confess 
one nature.' He compared the relation of the two 
natures with a drop of vinegar absorbed in the ocean. 
He thus taught that there was a fusion of the two 

Eutyches appealed to the teaching of C}rril. But he 
both ignored tne fact that Cyril had said that there was 
a ^difference of the natures/ and also quoted Cyril's 
words, 'one nature of the Word,' without adding the 
phrase, 'which was incarnate.' Eutyches said that Christ 
had a ' human ' body, but his teaching appears to nullify 
its human character. He made the divine element the 
only substantial element in the life of Christ. He sup- 
pressed the human nature of our Lord in order to make 
room for the divine. 

While the teaching of Eutyches totally differs from 
that of Nestorius, these two theories are ^extremes' 
which 'meet.' They deny that God really came to take 
part in human suffering and weakness. Both men seem 
to have been partly conscious of this fact, although 
neither of them saw all that their teaching involved. 
Nestorianism refuses to say that it was the divine Word 
himself who really suffered — it was only a man whom 
the Word strengthened and illuminated. Eutychianism 
refuses to say that it was a real human nature which 
suffered — it was a nature which had lost its own proper 
character through fusion with God. Therefore in the 
Eutychian system the experiences and sufferings of 


Christ are no longer truly human. They are only half 
human. Wherever Nestorian tendencies prevail^ men 
will think that Christ was only a good example and not 
a real Mediator. Wherever Eutychian tendencies pre- 
vail^ men will think that Christ is too divine to be what 
He seems. 

St. Leo. — When condemned at Constantinople, Eutyches 
appealed to Leo, bishop of Rome, who, after learning the 
true state of the case from Flavian, archbishop of Con- 
stantinople, addressed to him the famous Tome, 

In the meantime, Dioscorus^ archbishop of Alexandria, 
induced the Emperor Theodosius ii. to summon a Council 
of the Church at Ephesus. The Council met in 449, 
Dioscorus and his supporters declared Eutyches to be 
orthodox ; his opponents were deposed and treated with 
the greatest violence, and the gentle Flavian died from 
the wounds which he received. Such was the end of 
the Latrodninm, or Robber-Council of Ephesus. 

The Tome of Leo was set aside at the Latrocinium, but 
it was reserved for a fitting opportunity. It contains a 
remarkably clear and practical statement of the doctrine 
of the incarnation. It is far less subtle than many 
theological documents written by Greek authors, and 
is thoroughly Latin in its tone. Against Eutyches it 
insists upon the following facts : — 

1. There are two natures in Christ. There is His 
divine nature which was begotten of the Father, and 
His human nature which was bom of the Holy Ghost 
and the Virgin Mary. The reality of the body which 
Christ took of His mother is asserted, and each 'form* 
or nature of Christ is said to do that which is appropriate 
to it, but in communion with the other 'form.' The 
distinctive properties of the two natures remain and are 
not abolished. 

2. The humiliation which was involved in Christ's 
taking our flesh 'was the condescension of pity, not a 
failure of power.' This supreme act of love shows the 
true greatness of our Creator. 

3. The two natures are united permanently. Christ 
when incarnate was truly God; 'the Word did not 
abandon equality with the Father's glory.' But at the 


same time the manhood is not consumed by the dignity 
of the Godhead. Christ remains in each nature ; the 
word in beinff used to guard against the Eutychian 
quibble that Christ was ef two natures^ but did not 
remain in both. The Son of Man who came down 
from heaven is the same as the Son of God who was 

The Council of Ghalcedon.— Theodosius died in 450. He 
was succeeded by Marcian and Pulcheria^ who were not 
under the influence of Dioscorus^ and determined that a 
new Council should be held at Chalcedon in 461. At tlie 
fifth session of this Council a Definition was ratified which 
was intended to exclude Eutychianism. The Nicene 
Creed of 326 was acknowledged, and side by side with it 
the so-called Constantinopolitan Creed. This latter 
creed was put upon the same level as the Nicene Creed^ 
and in many countries^ including England^ it now passes 
for the Nicene Creed. It should also be noticed that 
even the Nicene Creed itself^ as recited at Chalcedon^ 
differed slightly from the Nicene Creed of 826. It added 
the words, ^of the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary,' 
and ^ whose Kingdom shall have no end,' and described 
the Holy Ghost as 'the Lord, the Giver of life.' There 
were also some smaller changes which show that the 
language of the ' Constantinopolitan ' Creed had already 
tinged the phrases of the old Nicene Creed. 

The Definition condemns all Nestorian, Apollinarian, 
and Eutychian theories by repudiating those who deny 
that Mary is Mother of God, and those who introduce 
the idea of a fusion and mixture of the two natures, and 
pretend that there is only one nature consisting of the 
nesh and of the Godhead of the Son, and vainly say that 
the divine nature of the only-begotten Son could suffer. 
In order to check such ideas, the Council endorses the 
letters of 'the blessed Cyril' to Nestorius and to the 
Easterns, and 'the letter of the most blessed and holy 
Archbishop Leo which was written to Archbishop Flavian, 
who is numbered with the saints.' The Definition then 
makes its own meaning still more unmistakable by con- 
demning those who teach that there is a double Sonship 
in Christ, or say that His Godhead could suffer, and that 


there is a fusion of the two natures^ and that His 'form 
of a servant ' was made of a heavenly substance^ and that 
there were two natures before, but only one nature after, 
the union. 

Then the faith is thus confessed : ' One and the same 
Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same being perfect in 
Godhead and the same being perfect in Manhood, truly 
God and truly man, the same having a rational soul and 
Yi body, of one substance with the Father according to 
the Godhead, and the same being of one substance with 
us according to the manhood, in all things like unto us 
except sin . . . one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, 
only-begotten, acknowledged in two natures, without 
fusion, without change, without division, without separa- 
tion ; the difference of the two natures having been in 
no wise taken away by the union, but rather the property 
of each nature being preserved, and combining to form 
one person and one hypostasis.' 

The phrase, in two natures, was intended to assert that 
our Lord's manhood remained real and permanent after 
the union of the manhood with the Godhead. The words 
' without fusion, without change ' exclude Eutychianism, 
while the words 'without division, without separation' 
as plainly exclude Nestorianism. As it is, this Definition 
ma4e by the Fourth General Council is a masterpiece 
of moderation and strength. It is not a mere reactionary 
document, and it does not diive men into opposition by 
any unguarded or one-sided statement. On the other 
hand, it is clear and definite. The most ardent believer 
in the Divinity of Jesus Christ can conscientiously feel 
that nothing which really exalts Christ in the thoughts 
of men has been in any way suppressed. The modern 
Christian can look back upon the great Councils of the 
years 325, 381, 431, and 461 with deep thankfulness. 
Through an age of bitterness and jealousy, when the 
Church was divided within and opposed without, the 
Church still remained 'the pillar and ground of the 
truth.' The dogmatic decisions of these Councils have 
kept the Christ of the Grospels. And we witness with 
reverent wonder the fulfilment of those words which 
Christ spoke to His apostles concerning the work of the 


Holy Ghost : ' He shall glorify me ; for he shall take of 
mine^ and shall declare it unto you ' (John xvi. 14). 

NoTx. — The doctrinal teaching expounded hy the First Four 
Oouncils is accepted by the Churches of the Roman communion, 
of the Anglican communion, and of the Orthodox Eastern com- 
munion. The last includes the Greek-speaking Christians of l^e 
patriarchal Churches of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, 
and Jerusalem, also of the Churches of Greece and Cyprus. 
Some Arab Christians are also included. The Orthodox Eastern* 
Church idso includes the Churches of Russia, Georgia, Servia, 
Montenegro, and Roumania, and three national Churches in 
Austria, respectively under the Orthodox Archbishops of Czer- 
nowitz, Carlowitz, and Hermannstadt. The Bulgarian Church 
accepts the same doctrinal standard, but is not at present in 
communion with the rest of the Eastern Church. 

The First Three Coimcils are recognised by the Armenians, who 
are slightly affected by Eutychianism and have not accepted the 
Fourth Council, though sometimes in practical agreement with it. 
Similar in doctrine, but more definitely Eutychian, is the West 
Syrian or Jacobite Church situated in the country which lies 
between Antioch and Mosul ; the Coptic Church, which numbers 
about 600,000 souls in Egypt ; and the large, but very ignorant, 
Church of Abyssinia. 

The First Two Coimcils are recognised by the Assyrian or East 
Syrian Church of Kurdistan. It now numbers only about 200,000 
souls, and its Nestorianism is not very definite. 

The total number of unorthodox Christians in the East is 
infinitesimal compared with the enormous number belonging to 
the Orthodox Eastern Church. 



8t Augnuitine*8 Doctrine of the Trinity. — No Father of the 
Churcli has had an influence equal to that of St Augustine 
(a.d. 8M-430). A convert from paganism to the half- pagan 
system of Manicheism^ he discovered that nothing less 
than the Catholic faith could sanctify his life and satisfy 
his heart. He dedicated to the service of Christ all the 
fruit of a religious imagination^ a comprehensive mind^ 
and a magnificent education. He was as familiar with the 
latest Greek philosophy as he was skilled in every nicety 
of the Latin language. One of the most independent of 
thinkers, he was also one of the most devout of mystics ; 
and while his manly vigour has won able admirers even 
for his few mistakes^ his words have carried with them a 
fragrance too delicate to be caught except by those whose 
souls are like his own. 

St. Augustine's work^ De Trinitate, presents a more 
complete doctrine of the Trinity than had hitherto been 
stated. The author starts out from a firm conception of 
the unity of God. 'This Trinity is one God^ and not 
therefore simple^ because God is a Trinity.' Hence 'the 
works of the Trinity are inseparable^' all the three persons 
combine in their work. The Son and the Holy Spirit 
co-operated with the Father in causing the incarnation. 
The word 'person' is necessary^ although it is not 
adequate to describe the mystery of divine life. 'We 
have said three persons^ not merely in order to say it^ 
but to avoid keeping silence.' ^ 

1 Trvn, V. 9, 10. 


Father^ Son^ and Spirit are not three separate beings 
like three human persons. They may be compared with 
the three facts of mind^ knowledge^ and will (or love)^ in 
one human being. The mind is the source of knowledge 
and of will^ the mind knows itself in realising knowledge^ 
and the relation between the mind and the object of its 
knowledge produces an active will. Nevertheless these 
three facts are inseparable^ and thus although ' the Father 
is one^ and the Son another^ and the Holy Spirit another^ 
all together are one Lord.' ^ Augustine^ in the plainest 
way, states that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son 
as well as from the Father.^ No Eastern theologian has 
stated this so plainly. 

The ^Athanasian ' Creed. — This creed is in form com- 
pletely Western and Latin^ and it is most strange that it 
has become popularly associated with St. Athanasius. The 
origin of the creed is still involved in obscurity^ but it is 
plain that it represents the theology of Augustine^ and it 
may be regarded as fairly certain that it was composed 
during the fifth century in South Gaul. Possibly its author 
was Vincent of Lerinum who wrote about 434. Vincent was 
fiimiliar both with the writings of St. Augustine and with 
the Nestorian controversy, and the creed shows traces of 
St. Augustine's influence and of the language used by the 
Catholics in opposing Nestorianism. 

The ' Athanasian' Creed is here subjoined, with a new 
translation of some of its phrases, and references to the 
heresies condemned in its various clauses :— 


1. Whosoever wisheth to be saved^ before all things 

he ought to hold fast the Catholic Faith. 

2. Which Faith except a man have kept whole and 

unviolated, without doubt he shall perish ever^ 


3. Now the Catholic Faith is this : That we worship 

one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity. 

1 Deul. vi 4. « Trin. xv. 29. 


4 Neither confusing the persons (against Sabel- 
lianism, see p. 68) nor separating the Sub- 
stance (against Arianism, see p. 87). 

5. For there is one person of the Father^ another of 

the Son^ and another of the Holy Ghost. 

6. But the Godhead of the Father^ of the Son^ and 

of the Holy Ghost^ is all one : the Glory equal^ 
the Majesty co-eternal. 

7. Such as the Father is^ such is the Son : and such 

is the Holy Ghost. 

8. The Father uncreated^ the Son uncreated : and 

the Holy Ghost uncreated. 

9. The Father infinite, the Son infinite: and the 

Holy Ghost infinite. 

10. The Father eternal^ the Son eternal : and the 

Holy Ghost eternal. 

11. And yet there are not thi*ee eternals : but one 

eternal (i.e, the Three are not three separate 
Gods^ but possess one eternal nature). 

12. As also there are not three uncreated^ or three 

infinites : but one uncreated^ and one infinite. 

13. So likewise the Father is Almighty^ the Sen 

Almighty : and the Holy Ghost Almighty. 

14. And yet tnere are not three Almighties : but one 


15. So the Father is God^ the Son is God : and the 

Holy Ghost is God. 

16. And yet there are not three Gods: but one 


17. So likewise the Father is Lord^ the Son Lord : 

and the Holy Ghost Lord. 

18. And yet there are not three Lords : but one Lord. 

19. For like as we are compelled by Christian truth 

to acknowledge every person by himself to be 
God and Lord ; 

20. So are we forbidden by the Catholic Religion : 

to say^ There are three Gods^ or three Lords 
(t.e. Catholicism repudiates the pagan doctrine 
that there are many gods). 

21. The Father was made by no one ; neither created 

nor begotten* 


22. The Son is from the Father only; not made^ 

nor created {against Arianism, see p. 87)> hut 
begotten (see p. 29). 

23. The Holy Ghost is from the Father and the Son ; 

neither made^ nor created^ nor begotten^ but 
coming forth (i.e. there is only one perfect 
divine sonship^ and the Spirit represents inter- 
course within the Godhead rather than filial 

24. So there is one Father^ not three Fathers ; one 

Son^ not three Sons; one Holy Ghost^ not 
three Holy Ghosts. 

25. And in this Trinity nothing is before or after^ 

nothing is greater or less (t.e. the attributes 
of each distinct person are as eternal and as 
perfect as the attributes of the other two 

26. But all three persons are co-eternal together 

and co-equaL 

27. So that in all things^ as is aforesaid : both the 

Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity is to 
be worshipped. 

28. He therefore that wisheth to be saved : must 

thus think of the Trinity. 


29. Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salva- 

tion : that he also believe faithfully in the 
incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

30. Therefore the right Faith is, that we believe and 

confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of 
God, is God and Man. 

31. He is God, begotten from the Substance of the 

Father before the worlds; and He is Man, 
born of the Substance of His Mother in the 

32. Perfect God : perfect Man, having a real 

existence with a rational soul and human flesh 
(against ApoUinarianism, see p. 102). 


33. Equal to the Father^ as touching His Godhead : 

and inferior to the Father^ as touching His 

34. Who^ although He be God and Man^ yet He is 

not two but one Christ (again^ Adoptionmn, 
see p. 69, and Nestorianism, see p. 106). 

35. One, not by a change of the Godhead into flesh 

(against Late Apollinarianism, see p. 100 ff.) : but 
by taking of the Manhood into God. 

36. One indeed, not l)y confusion of Substance 

{against Eutychianism, see p. 108) but by 
oneness of person. 

37. For as the rational soul and the flesh are one 

man, so God and Man is one Christ. 

38. Who suffered for our salvation ; descended into 

the lower world, on the third day rose again 
from among the dead. 

39. He ascended into heaven, He sitteth on the 

right hand of God the Father Almighty ; from 
whence He shall come to judge the living and 
the dead. 

40. At whose coming all men must rise again with 

their bodies : and shall give account for their 
own works. 

41. And they that have done good will go into life 

everlasting : but they that have done evil into 
everlasting fire. 


42. This is the Catholic Faith : which except a man 
shall have believed faithfully and firmly, he 
will not be able to be saved. 

The difficulties which are sometimes felt with regard 
to the so-called ' damnatory clauses ' in this creed can be 
largely removed. For both external and internal evidence 
show that its condemnations are not directed against 
ignorant unbelief but against wilful apostasy. 


An asterisk shows that the exact year is uncertain, 


The Crucifixion of our Lord, . . . . .29 

Council of the Apostles declares Gentiles free from the law, 49 
Martyrdom of St. Peter and St. Paul at Rome, . 64 or 67 
St. John's Gospel teaches that Christ is the "Word, . . *85 

St. Ignatius insists on the necessity of Episcopacy, . . *110 

Aristides and Quadratus write Apologies for Christianity, . l£5 
Basilides and Yalentinus, the Gnostics, flourish, . . 135 

Marcion founds a Semi-Gnostic Church, . . . 144 

Montanus introduces a new kind of prophesying, • . 157 

Theophilus uses the word Trinity: his doctrine of the 

"Word is partly Stoic, ..... *180 
St. Irenseus carries on St. John's teaching, . . *182 

Origen bom : combined Christian Theology with the best 

Greek culture, ...... *185 

Adoptionist Unitarianism brought to Rome, . . . *190 

Sabellian Unitarianism taught at Rome, . . . 215 

Tertullian expounds the doctrine of the Trinity, . . *218 

GallistuB, bishop of Rome, maintains that Penance is a 

means for obtaining forgiveness of mortal sin, . . *2l8 

Hippolytus dies : was a voluminous theological writer, . 235 
Manes or Manichaeus teaches an eclectic religion, . . 242 

Novatian writes on the Trinity against Sabellius, . . *250 

St. Cyprian maintains that mortal sin may be forgiven, but 

insists upon the necessity of Penance, . • • 250 

Dionysius of Alexandria dies : opposed Sabellianism, . 266 



Paul of Samoaata oondemned for teaching that Jesus beoame 

divine at His baptism, ..... *S69 
Luoian dies : he was the forerunner of Arianism, . 312 

Council of Nicna; Arius is oondemned for teaching that 

Ohrist is a demigod, ..... 325 

Athanasius becomes bishop of Alexandria, . . 328 

Arian Blatphemy Greed ; Arianism splits, . . 357 

Council of Constantinople; triumph of the Latitudinarian 

pfirty of Arians, ...... 360 

Catholics combine at the Council of Alexandria, . 362 

Apollinaris denies the reality of Christ's soul, 380 

Council of Gonstantixiople ; final triumph of Catholicism 

over Arianism, ...... 381 

Theodore, bishop of Mopsuestia, teaches that the Word was 

only 'connected' with Christ, .... 392 
Nestorius, a member of the party of Theodore, denies that 

Mary is Mother of Qod, and so denies that the Word 

became flesh ; opposed by St. Cyril, . . . 428 

Council of Ephesus condemns Nestorianism, . 431 

Eutyches teaches that the manhood of Christ is absorbed by 

His Deity ; opposed by St. Leo, .... 448 
The * Robber-Coimcil ' of Ephesus pronounces Eutyches 

orthodox, and murders Archbishop Flavian, . 449 

Council of Ohalcedon condemns Eutyches and draws up a 

Dejinition of the doctrine of the Incarnation, . . 451 


Absolution. See Penitence. 
Acacius the Homoean, 94. 
Acts, doctrine of, 10. 
Adoptionism, 41, 69 ; Nestorian- 

ism resembles it, 106. 
Aetius, 92. 
Alexandria, Christianity in, 59; 

Council at, 96. 
Alexandrine theology, opposed to 

Antiochene, 103. 
Anastasius, presbyter of Nesto- 

rius, 105. 
Anointing at Confirmation, 82; 

of the sick, 86. 
Anomcean Arians, 92. 
Antichrist, in 2 Thessaionians, 20; 

in Didache, 33. 
Antioch, Councils at, 70, 91. 
Apocalypse, Christology of, 30. 
ApoUinaris, loi. 
Apologists, 32, 48. 
Apostles' Creed, 35. 
Apostolical succession, 32, 37. 85. 
Archelaus^ Dispute of^ 71. 
Arius, 71, 87 ; his doctrine Poly- 
theistic, 88. 
Armenian Christianity, 71, 86, 112. 
Arteraon, 70. 
Asceticism, of St. Paul, 16; of 

Colossian heretics, 22; of 

Gnostics, 44. 
Athanasian Creed, 114. 
Athanasius, on the Incarnation, 90 ; 

his Council at Alexandria,96 ; on 

Christ's human knowledge, 90. 

Atonement, as taught by Christ 
8 ; by St. Paul, 16, 22 ; in 
Hebrews, 24 ; by Irenaeus, 54 ; 
by TertuUian, 58; by Origen, 
64 ; by Athanasius, 90. 

Augustine, on the Trinity, 113. 

Baptism, 9, 74 ; of infants, 75. 
Bardesanes, the Gnostic, 44. 
Barnabas, Epistle of^ 36. 
Basil of Ancyra, 93. 
Basil of Caesarea, 97. 
Basilides, the Gnostic, 45. 
Bishops. See Episcopacy. 
Blasphemy Creed, 93. 

CiESAREAN Creed, modified at 
Nicaea, 89. 

Callistus, bishop of Rome, rela- 
tions with Monarchians, 67, 68 ; 
on Penitence, 81. 

Catholic Church, first called thus, 


Celestine, bishop of Rome, ap- 
pealed to by Nestorius, 105. 

Chalcedon, Council of, no. 

Christ, claim of, 2 ; His consub- 
stantiality with God, 89 ff., in ; 
His human knowledge, 99 ; His 
consubstantiality with man, 100, 
102, III. 

Church, relation to kingdom of 
God, 8 ; unity of, 23 ; organisa- 
tion of, 39, 83. 

Clement of Alexandria, 60. 



Clement of Rome, Epistle of, 36 ; 

on the Eucharist, 78; Second 

Epistle of, 37. 
Clementine apocryphal literature, 


Colossians, Efistle to, Christology 

of, S2. 

Communion. See Eucharist. 

Confession, 80. 

Confirmation, 82. 

Corinthians, Epistles to, Christo- 
logy of, 20. 

Creed, Apostles', 35; of Nicaea, 
89 ; of Jerusalem, 97 ; of Chal- 
cedon, no. 

Cyprian, on the Eucharist, 79; 
on Penitence, 81. 

Cyril of Alexandria, opposes 
Nestorianism, 105 ; Christology 
of, 106. 

Dated Creed of Sirmium, 95. 
Dedication Creed of Antioch, 91. 
Didache, theology of, 32; on 

Sacraments, 74, 76. 
Diodore, teaches that Christ was 

two persons, 103. 
Dionysius of Alexandria, 118. 
Dioscorus of Alexandria, 109. 
Docetism, 38; of Gnostics, 44; 

in Clement, 61. 
Dualism, 43, 45. 

Ebionites, 34. 

Elkesai, 34. 

Emanations from God, 45, 54. 

Ephesians, Epistle to, theology of. 

Ephesus, Council of, 105. 

Robber-Council of, 109. 

Episcopacy, 39, 83. 

Eschatoiogy. See Judgment. 

E^sene Ebionites, 34. 

Eucharist, in Gospels, 9 ; in later 

theology, 75 ff. 
Eunomius, the Arian, 92. 
Eusebius of Caesarea, 90. 
Eusebius of Nicomedia, 90. 
Eutyches, 107. 

Faith, in St. Paul, 17 ; in. St. 

John, 26. 
Fasting, in Didache, 33; in 9 

Clement, 38. 
Fire purgatorial, 64. 
Flavian, 109. 

Gentile Christianity, 35. 
Gnostics, 31, 42 ; alleged influence 

on Catholicism, 46, 73. 
God, Fatherhood of, 6; abstract 

views of, 49, 93. 
God, Son of, 4. 

God-Man, phrase of Origen, 64. 
Gregory of Nazianzus, opposes 

Apollinarianism, 102. 
Gregory of Nyssa, on the Trinity, 


Hennas, Shepherd of, doctrine not 

Adoptionist, 41 ; on baptism, 

74 ; on penitence, 80. 
Hilary of Poictiers, on Arianism, 

Hippolytus, opposes Monarchian- 

ism, 67 ; opposes Callistus. 81. 
Homoean Arians, 94 
Homo-ousios, phrase of Gnostics, 

46 ; in Clement, 61 ; in Origen, 

63 ; at Nicsea, 89. 
Homoi'Ousios, a Semi- Arian phrase 

disliked by Anomceans, 93. 


Hypostasis, in sense of substance 
or essence, 24, 97; in sense vary- 
ing between essence and person, 
66 ; in sense of person, 97, iii. 

Ignatius, opposes Docetism, 38; 

on Episcopacy, 39, 84 ; on the 

Eucharist, 76, 78. 
Indulgences, ancient and modem, 

contrasted, 8a. 
Irenseus, his doctrine of God, 53 ; 

of the Word, 54 ; on infant 

baptism, 75 ; on the Eucharist, 

Istar, Babylonian Goddess, in 

Gnosticism, 43. 


Janus, St., Epistle of, 11; on 

unction of the sick, 86. 
Jerusalem, early Christianity at, 

10 ; second destruction of, 31. 
John the Apostle, on the teaching 

of Christ, 5 ; agreement with St. 

Paul, 26 ; doctrine of the Word, 

27; of the only -begotten Son, 29. 
John of Antioch, 105. 
Judaistic Christianity, 32. 
Jude, St., EpistUqf, 12. 
Judgment by Christ, 3, 4. 
Justin Martyr, 48 ff. 

Kingdom of God, in teaching 
of Christ, 7 ; in Didache, 33. 

Lapsi, 81. 

Latrocinium, Robber-Council at 
Ephesus, 109. 

Law, St. Paul's conception of, 18. 

Laying-on of hands, in confirma- 
tion, 82 ; in ordination, 85. 

Leo, bishop of Rome, his Tome 
against Eutyches, 109. 

Logos Doctrine, in Philo, 28 ; in 

St John, 29 ; in Apologists, 49 ; 

in Irenseus, 54; in Clement, 

60 ; in Origen, 63. 
Lord's Supper. See Eucharist 
Lucian, the martyr, forerunner of 

Arianism, 71, 87 ; so-called 

Creed of, 91. 

Macedonius, the Semi-Arian, 

Mandaites, an existing Gnostic 

sect, 43. 
Manes, or Mani, or Manichseus, 

44, 118. 
Manicheans, origin and tenets of, 

44 ; connection with Augustine, 

Marcellus of Anc3rra, revives 

Sabellianism, 91. 
Marcion, his doctrine half Catho- 
lic, half Gnostic, 46. 
Marriage, ritual of, 73; doctrine 

of, 85. 
Mary, as Virgin, 39, 51 ; as the 

second Eve, 54; as Mother of 

God, 105. 
Meletius of Antioch, 93. 
Memra, 28. 
Merits, human, in a Clement, 38 ; 

in Tertullian, 58. 
Messiah, 3. 

Millennium, in Papias, 41. 
Minucius Felix, Latin Apologist, 

Monarchianism, Tertullian on, 

56 ; Modalist form of, 67 ; 

Adoptionist form of, 69. 
Montanism, 52. 
Mother of God. See Theotoku. 



Muhammadanism, derived from 

Ebionism, 35. 
Mysteries pagan, alleged influence 

on Christianity, 73. 

Nature One, of Christ, in Apol- 

linaris, loi ; in Cyril, 107 ; in 

Eutyches, 108. 
Natures, Two, of Christ, in Cyril, 

106 ; in Leo, 109. 
Neo-PIatonism, influence of, 49, 

57, 60, 62. 
Nestorius, 104 ; Justly condemned, 

105 ; kindred error in Nestor- 

ianism and Eutychianism, 108. 
Nicsea, Council of, 89. 
Nice, Arian creed of, 95. 
Noetus, the Patripassian, 67. 
Novatian, opposes Monarchian- 

ism, 67; opposes Cyprian, 81. 

Origen, on God, 62 ; on Re- 
demption, 64 ; on the Sacra- 
ments, 75, 77. 

Ousta, Substance or Essence, 56, 

95. 97. 

Pantjbnus, 59. 

Papias, 40. 

Patripassians, 67. 

Paul the Apostle, 15. 

Paul of Samosata, 70, 

Paulicians, 71. 

Penitence or Repentance, in 

teaching of Christ, 7 ; in later 

teaching, 41, 79 ff. 
Person, in Christology, 103 flf. ; 

in the Trinity, 66, 68, 97, 113. 
Peter, St., Epistles of, 12. 
Philippians, Epistle to, 21. 
Philo, doctrine of the Word, 2& 

Pneumatomachi, 98. 

Polycarp, 39. 

Praxeas, 67. 

Pre-existence of Christ, 20 ff. ; of 

the soul of Christ, 65. 
Priesthood, of Christ, 24; of 

clergy and laity, 79. 
Prisca or Priscilla, the Montanist, 

Psilanthropism. See Adop- 


Quicunque vult. See Athanasian 

Real Presence, 76. 
Recapitulation of man in Christ, 

Reconciliation of man with God. 

See Atonement 
Repentance. See Penitence. 
Righteousness, as taught by St. 

Paul, 17. 
Roman or Apostles' Creed, 32, 35. 
Romans, Epistle to, 16, 21. 

Sabellius, 68. 

Sacerd otalism , alleged , of Cjrprian , 

Sacraments, 9, 7a ff. ; seven 

Sacraments, 74. 
Sacrifice, in Hebrews, 25 ; of the 

Eucharist, 77. 
Salvation, Christ's teaching about, 

Samaria, Gnosticism at, 44. 

Scriptures, Canon of, 32. 

Self-empt3ring,' or self-surrender, 
of Christ, in St. Paul, 21 ; in 
Athanasius, xoo; in Cyril, Z07. 


Semi-Arians, 93. 

Simon Magus, 44. 

Sin, St. Paul's doctrine of, 15. 

Sinlessness or Impeccability of 
Christ, Apollinarian doctrine of, 
loi; Catholic doctrine of, 102, 104 

Sins, treatment of, 79. 

Socinus, revives Arianism, 88. 

Soul of Christ, 65. 88, loi. 

Spirit, a term used of Christ's 
divine nature, 21, 26, 37, 38, 41. 

Spirit, Holy, personality of, 9, 11, 
16, 37, 42 ; asserted at second 
General Council, 98; work of, 
10, 63 ; revolution in the name 
of, by Montanists, 52. 

Stoicism, 27, 50, 57, 68. 

Subordination of Christ, 87. 

Substance of God, 24, 57. See 
also Hypostasis and Ousia. 

Symeon, bishop of Jerusalem, 33. 

Synoptic Gospels, date of, i ; 
Christology of, 2 ff. 

Targums, doctrine of the Word 
in, 28. 

Tatian, as an Apologist, 48 ; uses 
our four Gospels only, 51. 

Tertullian, 55; doctrine of the 
Trinity in, 56 ; of the Incarna- 
tion, 57 ; on penitence, 80. 

Testament, Canon of the Old, 30 ; 
of the New, 32. 

Theodore of Mopsuestia, teaches a 
double personality inChrist,io3. 

Theodoret, reconciles Antiochene 
and Alexandrine schools, 105. 

Theodosius i. , summons Council 
of Constantinople, 97. 

Theodosius 11., summons a 
Council of Ephesus, to^ ; death 
of, iia 

Theophilus of Antioch, as an 
Apologist, 48 ; is the first to use 
the Greek word for Trinity, 51, 

Theotokos, title of Mary, 105. 

Trinity, doctrine of, in New 
Testament, 9, 12, 26 ; first use 
of term in Greek, 51 ; in Latin. 
56; doctrine of, in Tertullian, 
56 ; in Sabellius, 68 ; at Council 
of Alexandria, 97 ; in Augus- 
tine, 113. 

Unction of ihe Sick, 86. 
Union, hypostatic, 106. 
Unitarianism, Ebionite, 33 ; 

Modalist, 67 ; Adoptionist, 69 ; 

modern, 67, 88. 
Ursacius, 95. 

Valens the Arian, 94. 
Valentinus the Gnostic, 45. 
Vktor, bishop of Rome, 67, 69. 
Vincentius of Lerinum, 114. 
Virgin, the Blessed. See Mary. 

Westcott, on the word ' con- 
fess,' 80. 

Wisdom, Book o/^ personifies the 
Word of God, 28. 

Word. See Logos. 

Zephyrinus, bishop of Rome, 67. 

Zoroastrianism, influenced Gnosti- 
cism, 43 ; and Manicheism, 45 ; 
described by Theodore, 102.